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J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jan 31;139(2):513-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2011.11.041. Epub 2011 Nov 30.

Relaxant effects of Artemisia ludoviciana on isolated rat smooth muscle tissues.

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Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de Morelos, Morelos, Mexico.



Artemisia ludoviciana spp. mexicana (Willd. Ex.) Spring D.D. Keck (Asteraceae), known as "estafiate" is employed for the treatment of diarrhea, dysentery, parasites, abdominal pain, vomiting, stomach ache, and also as antispasmodic agent. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the relaxant effect of hexanic (HEAl), dichloromethanic (DEAl) and methanolic (MEAl) extracts on isolated trachea, ileum and aorta rat rings, and to establish the tracheo-relaxant mode of action of DEAl.


All extracts were investigated based on their capacity of to inhibit the rat ileum spontaneous contraction, to relax contraction induced by noradrenaline (0.1 μM) on endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded thoracic aorta rat rings, and also to inhibit contraction provoked by carbachol (1 μM) on rat trachea.


Organic extracts had no spasmolytic action on ileum strips compared to positive control (papaverine, p<0.05). On the other hand, all extracts induced a significant concentration- and partial endothelium-dependent vasorelaxant activity. Extracts also showed significant relaxant effect on pre-contracted tracheal tissue in a concentration-dependent manner. In last two experiments, DEAl was the most potent and efficient extract; however, it was less potent than papaverine and theophylline, used as positive controls (p<0.05). In tracheal preparation, DEAl shifted to the right, in a parallel manner, the concentration-response curves induced by carbachol (p<0.05). Also, DEAl induced a significant relaxant effect on the contraction produced by potassium chloride (KCl, 80 mM). Pre-incubation with 1-H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazolo-[4,3a]-quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10 μM), indomethacin (10 μM), N(ω)-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME, 10 μM), glibenclamide (10 μM) and 2-aminopyridine (2-AP, 100 μM) did not modify the DEAl-relaxant curves.


Functional experiments suggest that the most active extract, DEAl, induced its relaxant effect by possible muscarinic receptors antagonism and calcium channel blockade in tracheal rings. On the other hand, significant vasorelaxant activity showed by DEAl is partially endothelium-dependent. Finally, spasmolytic activity induced by the extracts in the rat ileum was not significant, which suggests that the antidiarrheic effect of the plant is related to antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties previously described.

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