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Endothelium-independent relaxation and contraction of rat aorta induced by ethyl acetate extract from leaves of Morus alba (L.)

Xia, Manli, Qian, Lingbo, Zhou, Xinmei, Gao, Qin, Bruce, Iain C., Xia, Qiang
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2008 v.120 no.3 pp. 442-446
vasodilation, vasodilator agents, medicinal plants, plant extracts, leaves, Morus alba, Oriental traditional medicine, endothelium, aorta, rats, muscle contraction, dose response, phenylephrine, calcium, calcium channels, sarcoplasmic reticulum, ryanodine receptors, China
Aim of the study: Based on screening for vasoactive traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, the present study was performed to investigate the vasoactive effects of an ethyl acetate extract from leaves of Morus alba (L.) (ELM) on rat thoracic aorta and the mechanisms underlying these effects. Materials and methods: Isolated rat thoracic rings were mounted in an organ bath system and the effects of ELM on their responses were evaluated. Results: ELM (0.125-32.000g/l) induced a concentration-dependent relaxation (P <0.01 vs. control) both in endothelium-intact and -denuded aortas precontracted by high K⁺ (6x10⁻² M) or 10⁻⁶ M phenylephrine (PE). In endothelium-denuded aortas, ELM at the EC₅₀ concentration reduced Ca²⁺-induced contraction (P <0.01 vs. control) after PE or KCl had generated a stable contraction in Ca²⁺-free solution. And after incubation with verapamil, ELM induced contraction in endothelium-denuded aortas precontracted by PE (P <0.01 vs. control); this was abolished by ruthenium red (P <0.01 vs. ELM-treated endothelium-denuded group; P >0.05 vs. control), but not by heparin (P >0.01 vs. ELM-treated endothelium-denuded group; P <0.01 vs. control). Conclusions: The results showed that ELM had dual vasoactive effects, and the relaxation was greater than the contraction. The relaxation was mediated by inhibition of voltage- and receptor-dependent Ca²⁺ channels in vascular smooth muscle cells, while the contraction occurred via activation of ryanodine receptors in the sarcoplasmic reticulum.