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Phytomedicine. 2006 Nov;13(9-10):643-50. Epub 2006 Feb 17.

Effect of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) crude extract and chromatographic fractions on multiple activities in a cultured cardiomyocyte assay.

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Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, Corvallis, OR, USA.


Extracts of hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) have become popular herbal supplements for their well-recognized cardiotonic effects. Many commercial preparations have been used successfully in the treatment of congestive heart failure, although the active principles within these extracts have yet to be conclusively identified. Several hawthorn preparations were studied and found to have negative chronotropic effects in a cultured neonatal murine cardiomyocyte assay using unpaced cells. As compared to conventional cardiac drugs (i.e., epinephrine, milrinone, ouabain, or propranolol), hawthorn extract has a unique activity profile. Hawthorn extract appears to be anti-arrhythmic and capable of inducing rhythmicity in quiescent cardiomyocytes. Hawthorn extract does not cause beta-adrenergic receptor blockade at concentrations which cause negative chronotropic effects. Commercial hawthorn preparations, extracts prepared from dried leaves and those made from dried berries have similar chronotropic activities. When crude extracts are separated using size-exclusion chromatography, several fractions retain multiple cardiac activities. Assays with chromatographic fractions reveal that multiple dissimilar cardioactive components may exist within the extract, making the identification of individual active constituents more challenging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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