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Phytother Res. 2000 Jun;14(4):235-9.

Blood pressure depression by the fruit juice of Carica papaya (L.) in renal and DOCA-induced hypertension in the rat.

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Department of Physiology, University of Calabar, Nigeria.


A crude ethanol extract was prepared from the unripened fruit of Carica papaya. Lethality studies showed a dose-mortality relationship with an LD(50) of 325.2 mg/kg in mice administered i.p. Male albino Wistar rats were randomly divided into three batches (15 rats per batch)-renal, DOCA-salt hypertensives and normotensives. Each batch was further divided into three groups-the untreated, hydrallazine and extract treated groups. The mean arterial blood pressure (MAP) and the heart rate were measured in all groups. From the results, the basal (control) MAP were 93.8 +/- 4.5, 175.2 +/- 5. 1 and 181.3 +/- 6.2 mmHg in the normotensive, renal and DOCA-salt hypertensives, respectively. Both hydrallazine (200 microg/100 g i. v) and extract (20 mg/kg.i.v) produced a significant depression of MAP in all groups (p < 0.01 vs controls), but the extract produced about 28% more depression of MAP than hydrallazine in the hypertensive groups. In another group of rats, the extract failed to depress the MAP in rats pretreated with propranolol, but atropine and noradrenaline pretreatment did not prevent the action of the extract on blood pressure. In vitro studies using isolated rabbit arterial (aorta, renal and vertebral) strips showed that the extract (10 microg/mL) produced relaxation of vascular muscle tone which was, however, attenuated by phentolamine (0.5-1.5 microg/mL). It is concluded that the fruit juice of C. papaya probably contains antihypertensive agent(s) which exhibits mainly alpha-adrenoceptor activity.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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