BMC complementary and alternative medicine

Vasorelaxant effect of Prunus yedoensis bark.

PMID 23410148


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. 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. 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 Ca(2+) in endothelium-denuded rat thoracic aorta rings pre-contracted by PE (1 μM) or KCl (60 mM) in Ca(2+)-free solution. 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 Ca(2+) channels.