Water extract of Zanthoxylum piperitum induces vascular relaxation via endothelium-dependent NO-cGMP signaling.J Ethnopharmacol. 2010 May 27; 129(2):197-202.JE
AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of the present study was to define the effects of extracts of leaves of Zanthoxylum piperitum (ZP) on the vascular tension and its mechanisms responsible in rat thoracic aortic rings.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Methanol extract of ZP and aqueous fraction of the methanol extract (AZP) were examined for their vascular relaxant effects in isolated phenylephrine-precontracted aortic rings.
Methanol extract of ZP and aqueous fraction of the methanol extract (AZP) induced relaxation of the phenylephrine-precontracted aortic rings in a concentration-dependent manner. Endothelium-denudation abolished the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Pretreatment of the endothelium-intact aortic rings with N(G)-nitro-L-arginine methylester (L-NAME) and 1H-[1,2,4]-oxadiazolo-[4,3-alpha]-quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ) inhibited the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Inhibition of Ca(2+) entry via L-type Ca(2+) channels failed to block the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Extracellular Ca(2+) depletion slightly but significantly attenuated the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Thapsigargin significantly attenuated the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Further, Gd(3+) and 2-aminoethyl diphenylborinate (2-APB), inhibitors of store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE), markedly attenuated the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. Also, wortmannin, an inhibitor of Akt, an upstream signaling molecule of eNOS, attenuated the AZP-induced vasorelaxation. AZP increased cGMP levels of the aortic rings in a concentration-dependent manner and the effect was blocked by L-NAME, ODQ, thapsigargin, Gd(3+), 2-APB, and wortmannin. K(+) channel inhibition with glibenclamide and tetraethylammonium, cyclooxygenase inhibition with indomethacin, and adrenergic and muscarinic receptors blockade had no effects on the AZP-induced vasorelaxation.
Taken together, the present study suggests that AZP relaxes vascular smooth muscle via endothelium-dependent activation of NO-cGMP signaling through the Akt- and SOCE-eNOS pathways.