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Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2011;7:273-80. doi: 10.2147/VHRM.S15429. Epub 2011 Apr 28.

Vasodilatory effects of cinnamaldehyde and its mechanism of action in the rat aorta.

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Murad Research Institute for Modernized Chinese Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, People's Republic of China.


The vasodilatory effect of cinnamaldehyde was investigated for its mechanism of action using isolated rings of rat aorta. Cinnamaldehyde relaxed aortic rings precontracted with phenylephrine in a dose-dependent manner, was not affected by either the presence or removal of the endothelium. Pretreatment with NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester and 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazole-[4,3-a]-quinoxalin-1-one could not block vasodilation by cinnamaldehyde, indicating that nitric oxide signaling is not involved. Potassium channel blockers, such as glibenclamide, tetraethylammonium, and BaCl2, had no effect on the relaxation produced by cinnamaldehyde. In addition, treatment with either indomethacin or propranolol did not affect cinnamaldehyde-induced vasodilatation. On the other hand, pretreatment of endothelium-denuded rings with cinnamaldehyde significantly inhibited vasoconstriction induced by endogenous vasoconstrictors, including angiotensin II, 5-hydroxytryptamine, dopamine, endothelin-1, and phenylephrine. In a Ca2+-free experimental setting, this natural vasodilator not only blocked Ca2+ influx-dependent vasoconstriction by either phenylephrine or KCl, but also inhibited phenylephrine-induced tonic contraction, which relies on intracellular Ca2+ release. This study shows that endothelium-independent, Ca2+ influx and/or an inhibitory release mechanism contributes to the vasodilatory effect of cinnamaldehyde.


cinnamaldehyde; endothelium; vascular smooth muscle cell; vasodilation

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