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Open Access Research article

Vasorelaxant effect of Prunus yedoensis bark

Kyungjin Lee, Inhye Ham, Gabsik Yang, Mihwa Lee, Youngmin Bu, Hocheol Kim and Ho-Young Choi*

Author Affiliations

Department of Herbology, College of Korean Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-Dong, Dongdaemun-Gu, 130–701, Seoul, Republic of Korea

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2013, 13:31  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-13-31

Published: 14 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Prunus yedoensis Matsum. is used as traditional medicine—‘Yaeng-Pi’ or ‘Hua-Pi’—in Japan and Korea. However, no studies have examined the pharmacological activities of the P. yedoensis bark. Only the antioxidant and antiviral activities of P. yedoensis fruit and the anti-hyperglycaemic effect of P. yedoensis leaf have been investigated. While studying the antihypertensive effects of several medicinal plants, we found that a methanol extract of P. yedoensis bark (MEPY) had distinct vasorelaxant effects on rat aortic rings.

Methods

The aortic rings were removed from Sprague–Dawley rats and suspended in organ chambers containing 10 ml Krebs-Henseleit solution. The aortic rings were placed between 2 tungsten stirrups and connected to an isometric force transducer. Changes in tension were recorded via isometric transducers connected to a data acquisition system.

Results

MEPY relaxed the contraction induced by phenylephrine (PE) both in endothelium-intact and endothelium-denuded aortic rings concentration dependently. However, the vasorelaxant effects of MEPY on endothelium-denuded aortic rings were lower than endothelium-intact aortic rings. The vasorelaxant effects of MEPY on endothelium-intact aortic rings were reduced by pre-treatment with L-NAME, methylene blue, or ODQ. However, pre-treatment with indomethacin, atropine, glibenclamide, tetraethylammonium, or 4-aminopyridine had no affection. In addition, MEPY inhibited the contraction induced by extracellular Ca2+ in endothelium-denuded rat thoracic aorta rings pre-contracted by PE (1 μM) or KCl (60 mM) in Ca2+-free solution.

Conclusions

Our results suggest that MEPY exerts its vasorelaxant effects via the activation of NO formation by means of L-Arg and NO-cGMP pathways and via the blockage of extracellular Ca2+ channels.