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Journal of medicinal food

Analysis of responses to kava kava in the feline pulmonary vascular bed.


PMID 16579730

Abstract

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that kava kava induces a depressor response in the pulmonary vascular bed of the cat and to identify the pathways involved in the mediation or modulation of these effects. In separate experiments, the effects of L-N5-(1-iminoethyl)ornithine hydrochloride (L-NIO), a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, glibenclamide, an ATP-sensitive K+ channel blocker, meclofenamate, a nonselective cyclooxygenase inhibitor, nicardipine, a calcium channel blocker, bicuculline, a gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA)A receptor antagonist, and saclofen, a GABAB antagonist, were investigated on pulmonary arterial responses to kava kava (kava), pinacidil, an ATP-sensitive K+ channel activator, bradykinin, an inducer of nitric oxide synthase, 3-aminopropyl(methyl)phosphinic acid hydrochloride (SKF-97541), a GABAB receptor agonist, and muscimol, a GABAA receptor agonist. Lobar arterial perfusion pressure and systemic pressure were continuously monitored, electronically averaged, and recorded. Under elevated tone conditions in the isolated left lower lobe of the feline vascular bed, kava induced a dose-dependent vasodepressor response that was not significantly altered after administration of L-NIO, glibenclamide, meclofenamate, or saclofen. Responses to kava were significantly reduced after administration of either nicardipine or bicuculline. When the calcium channel blocker nicardipine was administered in addition to the GABA blocker bicuculline, there was near complete attenuation of the kava-induced vasodepressor responses. The results of this investigation suggest that kava has potent vasodepressor activity in the feline lung bed and that this response is mediated or modulated by both a calcium channel- and GABA receptor-sensitive pathway.

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