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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:8703239. doi: 10.1155/2016/8703239. Epub 2016 Apr 27.

Cortex phellodendri Extract Relaxes Airway Smooth Muscle.

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Institute for Medical Biology & Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory for Protection and Application of Special Plants in Wuling Area of China, College of Life Sciences, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China.
Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Resource and Compound Prescription, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China.
College of Pharmacy, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China.
Wuhan Institute for Neuroscience and Engineering, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China.
Department of Medicine-Cardiology, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.
Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


Cortex phellodendri is used to reduce fever and remove dampness and toxin. Berberine is an active ingredient of C. phellodendri. Berberine from Argemone ochroleuca can relax airway smooth muscle (ASM); however, whether the nonberberine component of C. phellodendri has similar relaxant action was unclear. An n-butyl alcohol extract of C. phellodendri (NBAECP, nonberberine component) was prepared, which completely inhibits high K(+)- and acetylcholine- (ACH-) induced precontraction of airway smooth muscle in tracheal rings and lung slices from control and asthmatic mice, respectively. The contraction induced by high K(+) was also blocked by nifedipine, a selective blocker of L-type Ca(2+) channels. The ACH-induced contraction was partially inhibited by nifedipine and pyrazole 3, an inhibitor of TRPC3 and STIM/Orai channels. Taken together, our data demonstrate that NBAECP can relax ASM by inhibiting L-type Ca(2+) channels and TRPC3 and/or STIM/Orai channels, suggesting that NBAECP could be developed to a new drug for relieving bronchospasm.

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