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Antispasmodic effect of Mentha piperita essential oil on tracheal smooth muscle of rats

de Sousa, Albertina Antonielly Sydney, Soares, Pedro Marcos Gomes, de Almeida, Arisa Nara Saldanha, Maia, Alana Rufino, de Souza, Emmanuel Prata, Assreuy, Ana Maria Sampaio
Journal of ethnopharmacology 2010 v.130 no.2 pp. 433-436
parasympatholytics, muscle contraction, nitric oxide synthase, smooth muscle, peppermint oil, medicinal plants, respiratory physiology, muscle relaxants, trachea (vertebrates), in vitro studies, rats, medicinal properties, Mentha piperita, prostaglandins, respiratory system agents
Aim of the study: Mentha piperita is a plant popularly known in Brazil as “hortelã-pimenta” whose essential oil is used in folk medicine for its anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant actions and anti-congestive. Here, it was investigated the effect of Mentha piperita essential oil (peppermint oil) in rat tracheal rings along with its mechanism of action. Materials and methods: Tracheal tissue from Male Wistar rats (250-300g) were used. Peppermint oil was added in cumulative concentrations [1-300μg/ml] to the tissue basal tonus or pre-contracted by carbachol [10μM] at 10min intervals, incubated or not with indomethacin [10μM], l-N-metyl-nitro-arginine [100μM], hexamethonium [500μM], or tetraethylammonium [5mM]. Results: Peppermint oil [100 and 300μg/ml] inhibited the contractions induced by carbachol, which was reversed by indomethacin, l-N-metyl-nitro-arginine and hexamethonium, but not by tetraethylammonium. These data suggest the participation of prostaglandin E₂, nitric oxide and autonomic ganglions in the peppermint oil relaxant effect and may be correlated with its popular use in respiratory diseases. Conclusions: Peppermint oil exhibited antispasmodic activity on rat trachea involving prostaglandins and nitric oxide synthase.