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J Pharm Pharmacol. 1996 Nov;48(11):1210-4.

Effect of the hydroalcoholic extract of rauwolfia ligustrina on smooth and cardiac muscles in-vitro.

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Departamento de Ciências Básicas da Saúde e Laboratório de Tecnologia Farmacêutica, Universidade Federal da Paraíba, João Pessoa, Brazil.


The actions of the hydroalcoholic extract (HE) of Rauwolfia ligustrina (the whole plant) on agonist-induced contractions were analysed in the rat uterus and guinea-pig ileum and trachea, and also in rat atrium contracting spontaneously in-vitro. The HE (100-400 micrograms mL-1) caused concentration-dependent rightward shifts of the concentration-response curves and reduced the maximal contraction induced by oxytocin, bradykinin, angiotensin II, prostaglandin F2 alpha and acetylcholine in the rat uterus. The calculated mean IC50 values were: 300, 147, 158, 197 and 105 micrograms mL-1, respectively. In the guinea-pig ileum the HE also caused graded displacement to the right of the concentration-response curves for bradykinin, histamine and carbachol, associated with pronounced inhibition of the agonist-induced maximal contractions. The calculated mean IC50 values were 165, 134 and 241 micrograms mL-1, respectively. The HE (100-3000 micrograms mL-1) caused graded relaxation (IC50 of 271 micrograms mL-1) of strips of guinea-pig trachea precontracted with carbachol (0.2 microM). This effect was not influenced by propranolol (1 microM), 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (1 microM) or methylene blue (10 microM), but was significantly potentiated (1.5-to 3-fold) by indomethacin (3 microM) and forskolin (1 nM). In addition, NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, 100 nM) significantly reduced the HE-induced maximal relaxation, while indomethacin (3 microM) potentiated the HE response. Finally, the HE caused a concentration-dependent and long-lasting inotropic effect in the rat right atrium, contracting spontaneously with a mean EC50 value of 409 micrograms mL-1. It is suggested that the effects of the HE of R. ligustrina on smooth and cardiac muscles "in-vitro' may result from its ability to interact, at least partially, with the cAMP pathway.

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