Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Vascul Pharmacol. 2007 Jul;47(1):68-73. Epub 2007 Apr 21.

Endothelium protectant and contractile effects of the antivaricose principle escin in rat aorta.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology School of Medicine, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 70297, 04510 Mexico, D.F. Mexico.

Abstract

The triterpene saponin escin is the active component of the extract of seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum used in the treatment of chronic venous insufficiency. Escin is also used experimentally to increase membrane permeability in isolated cells. Since endothelial dysfunction is postulated to be involved in venous insufficiency, the possible endothelium-protectant effect of escin was explored in rat aortic rings, a model widely used to study such effects with cardiovascular agents. Escin enhanced endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by acetylcholine when such relaxation had been reduced by exposure to the superoxide ion generator pyrogallol. This effect was attributed to enhanced nitric oxide production by endothelial nitric oxide synthase, a calcium-dependent enzyme, activated by the increased endothelial cell permeability to calcium induced by escin. Another effect of escin thought to contribute to its therapeutic activity is its ability to produce venous contraction. The compound was found to induce concentration-related contraction also in rat aortic rings. This response was partially inhibited by removal of the endothelium or by preincubation with indomethacin, and was completely abolished by incubation in a calcium-free perfusion fluid. Contraction was considered to be due mainly to the aforementioned effect on calcium permeability, with some mediation by release of endothelial vasoconstrictor prostanoids. It was concluded that, in rat aorta, escin possesses an endothelium-protectant action and a direct contractile effect. The former could contribute to its beneficial effect in the treatment of venous insufficiency, while the latter could constitute a limiting side effect.

PMID:
17512261
DOI:
10.1016/j.vph.2007.04.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center