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Med Princ Pract. 2017;26(3):258-265. doi: 10.1159/000464363. Epub 2017 Feb 22.

Effects of Root Extracts of Eurycoma longifolia Jack on Corpus Cavernosum of Rat.

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Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



This study was conducted to investigate the mechanisms of action of Eurycoma longifolia in rat corpus cavernosum.


Tincture of the roots was concentrated to dryness by evaporating the ethanol in vacuo. This ethanolic extract was partitioned into 5 fractions sequentially with hexane, dichloromethane (DCM), ethyl acetate, butanol, and water. The corpus cavernosum relaxant activity of each fraction was investigated. The DCM fraction which showed the highest potency in relaxing phenylephrine-precontracted corpora cavernosa was purified by column chromatography. The effects of the most potent DCM subfraction in relaxing phenylephrine-precontracted corpora cavernosa, DCM-I, on angiotensin I- or angiotensin II-induced contractions in corpora cavernosa were investigated. The effects of DCM-I pretreatment on the responses of phenylephrine-precontracted corpora cavernosa to angiotensin II or bradykinin were also studied. An in vitro assay was conducted to evaluate the effect of DCM-I on angiotensin-converting enzyme activity.


Fraction DCM-I decreased the maximal contractions (100%) evoked by angiotensin I and angiotensin II to 30 ± 14% and 26 ± 16% (p < 0.001), respectively. In phenylephrine-precontracted corpora cavernosa, DCM-I pretreatment caused angiotensin II to induce 82 ± 27% relaxation of maximal contraction (p < 0.01) and enhanced (p < 0.001) bradykinin-induced relaxations from 47 ± 8% to 100 ± 5%. In vitro, DCM-I was able to reduce (p < 0.001) the maximal angiotensin-converting enzyme activity to 78 ± 0.24%.


Fraction DCM-I was able to antagonize angiotensin II-induced contraction to cause corpus cavernosum relaxation via inhibition of angiotensin II type 1 receptor and enhance bradykinin-induced relaxation through inhibition of angiotensin-converting enzyme.


Angiotensin II; Angiotensin-converting enzyme; Bradykinin; Corpus cavernosum; Erectile dysfunction; Eurycoma longifolia Jack

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