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Phytother Res. 2016 Aug;30(8):1362-76. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5641. Epub 2016 May 27.

The Prokinetic, Laxative, and Antidiarrheal Effects of Morus nigra: Possible Muscarinic, Ca(2+) Channel Blocking, and Antimuscarinic Mechanisms.

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Natural Products Research Division, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University, PO Box 3500, Stadium Road, Karachi, 74800, Sindh, Pakistan.
Internal Medicine Section, Department of Medicine, Hamad Medical Corporation, PO Box 3050, Doha, Qatar.
Pakistan Council for Science and Technology, G-5/2, Islamabad, Pakistan.
H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry, International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi, Sindh, 75270, Pakistan.


Morus nigra Linn. (black mulberry) is used in gastrointestinal ailments. This study demonstrates gut modulatory properties of M. nigra. The prokinetic, laxative, and antidiarrheal activities of M. nigra were assessed in mice, while isolated rabbit jejunum and guinea-pig ileum were used to explore insight into mechanism(s). At 30 and 70 mg/kg, the crude extract of M. nigra (Mn.Cr) exhibited atropine-sensitive prokinetic and laxative effects, similar to carbachol (CCh). While at higher doses (100, 300, and 500 mg/kg), Mn.Cr offered protection against castor oil-induced diarrhea. In rabbit jejunum, Mn.Cr and its chloroform fraction inhibited CCh-induced contractions more potently compared with high K(+) (80 mm). Conversely, petroleum fraction was more potent against high-K(+) -induced contractions. At 0.01 mg/mL, Mn.Cr caused a parallel shift in acetylcholine concentration-response curves (CRCs) followed by a non-parallel shift at 0.03 mg/mL, similar to dicyclomine. At further tested concentrations, Mn.Cr (0.1 and 0.3 mg/mL) and petroleum fraction suppressed Ca(2+) CRCs, similar to verapamil. In guinea-pig ileum, Mn.Cr, its aqueous and ethyl acetate fractions exhibited atropine-sensitive gut stimulant activity along with additional uncharacterized excitatory response in the aqueous fraction only. These results suggest that black mulberry possesses prokinetic, laxative, and antidiarrheal effects, putatively mediated through cholinomimetic, antimuscarinic, and Ca(2+) antagonist mechanisms, respectively.


black mulberry; constipation; diarrhea; gut modulatory; prokinetic

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