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Open Access Research article

Possible mechanisms of hypotension produced 70% alcoholic extract of Terminalia arjuna (L.) in anaesthetized dogs

Srinivas Nammi1*, Rambabu Gudavalli1, Behara S Ravindra Babu2, Durga S Lodagala1 and Krishna M Boini1

Author Affiliations

1 Pharmacology Division, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Andhra University, Visakhapatnam-530 003, Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

2 A15, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney Sydney, NSW-2006, AUSTRALIA

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BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2003, 3:5  doi:10.1186/1472-6882-3-5

Published: 16 October 2003

Abstract

Background

The bark of Terminalia arjuna L. (Combretaceae) is used in Ayurveda since ancient times for the treatment of cardiac disorders. Previous laboratory investigations have demonstrated the use of the bark in cardiovascular complications. The present study was aimed to find the effect of 70% alcoholic extract of Terminalia arjuna on anaesthetized dog blood pressure and probable site of action.

Methods

Six dogs were anaesthetized with intraperitoneal injection of thiopental sodium and the blood pressure of each dog (n = 6) was measured from the left common carotid artery connected to a mercury manometer on kymograph. The femoral vein was cannulated for administration of drug solutions. The extract of T. arjuna (dissolved in propylene glycol) in the dose range of 5 to 15 mg/kg were administered intravenously in a pilot study and the dose (6 mg/kg) which produced appreciable hypotension was selected for further studies.

Results

Intravenous administration of T. arjuna produced dose-dependent hypotension in anaesthetized dogs. The hypotension produced by 6 mg/kg dose of the extract was blocked by propranolol but not by atropine or mepyramine maleate. This indicates that muscarinic or histaminergic mechanisms are not likely to be involved in the hypotension produced by the extract. The blockade by propranolol of the hypotension produced by T. arjuna indicates that the extract might contain active compound(s) possessing adrenergic ß2-receptor agonist action and/or that act directly on the heart muscle.

Conclusion

The results indicated the likely involvement of peripheral mechanism for hypotension produced by the 70% alcoholic extract of Terminalia arjuna and lends support for the claims of its traditional usage in cardiovascular disorders.