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Evaluation of gut modulatory and bronchodilator activities of Amaranthus spinosus Linn.

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      Abstract

      BackgroundThe aqueous-methanolic extract of Amaranthus spinosus (A. spinosus Linn.,) whole plant, was studied for its laxative, spasmolytic and bronchodilator activities to validate some of its medicinal uses.MethodsThe crude extract of A. spinosus was studied in-vivo for bronchodilator and laxative activities and in-vitro using isolated tissue preparations which were mounted in tissue baths assembly containing physiological salt solutions, maintained at 37°C and aerated with carbogen, to assess the spasmolytic effect and to find out the possible underlying mechanisms.ResultsIn the in-vivo experiments in mice, the administration of A. spinosus increased fecal output at doses of 100 and 300 mg/kg showing laxative activity. It also inhibited carbachol-induced bronchospasm in anesthetized rats at 1, 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg indicative of bronchodilator activity. When tested on isolated gut preparations, the plant extract showed a concentration-dependent (0.01-10.0 mg/ml) spasmogenic effect in spontaneously contracting rabbit jejunum and guinea-pig ileum. The spasmogenic effect was partially blocked in tissues pretreated with atropine (0.1 μM). When tested on K+ (80 mM)-induced sustained contractions in isolated rabbit jejunum, the plant extract caused complete relaxation and also produced a shift in the Ca++ concentration-response curves (CRCs) towards right, similar to diltiazem. In rabbit trachea, the plant extract completely inhibited K+ (80 mM) and carbachol (CCh, 1 μM)-induced contractions at 1 mg/ml but pretreatment of tissue with propranolol (1 μM), caused around 10 fold shift in the inhibitory CRCs of the plant extract constructed against CCh-induced contraction. The plant extract (up to 0.3 mg/ml) also increased both force and rate of spontaneous contractions of isolated guinea-pig atria, followed by relaxation at higher concentration (1.0-5.0 mg/ml). The cardio-stimulant effect was abolished in the presence of propranolol, similar to that of isoprenaline. Activity-directed fractionation revealed that the spasmolytic component(s) was separated in the organic fraction, whereas the spasmogenic component was concentrated in the aqueous fraction.ConclusionThese results indicate that A. spinosus possesses laxative activity partially mediated through cholinergic action. The spasmolytic effect was mediated through calcium channel blocking (CCB), while bronchodilator activity through a combination of β-adrenergic and CCB pathways, which may explain the traditional uses of A. spinosus in gut and airways disorders.

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      Most cited references 24

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      Trends in ethnopharmacology

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        In vivo antimalarial activities of extracts from Amaranthus spinosus L. and Boerhaavia erecta L. in mice.

        Extracts obtained from two Burkinabe folk medicine plants, spiny amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus L., Amaranthaceae) and erect spiderling (Boerhaavia erecta L., Nyctagynaceae) were screened for antimalarial properties with the aim of testing the validity of their traditional uses. The plant extracts showed significant antimalarial activities in the 4-day suppressive antimalarial assay in mice inoculated with red blood cells parasitized with Plasmodium berghei berghei. We obtained values for ED(50) of 789 and 564 mg/kg for Amaranthus spinosus and Boerhaavia erecta extracts, respectively. Moreover the tested vegetal material showed only low toxicity (1,450 and 2,150 mg/kg as LD(50) for Amaranthus spinosus and Boerhaavia erecta, respectively).
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          Cumulative dose-response curves. II. Technique for the making of dose-response curves in isolated organs and the evaluation of drug parameters.

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            [1 ]Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, Pakistan
            [2 ]Natural Product Research Unit, Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Aga Khan University Medical College, Karachi, 74800, Pakistan
            Contributors
            Journal
            BMC Complement Altern Med
            BMC Complement Altern Med
            BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine
            BioMed Central
            1472-6882
            2012
            1 October 2012
            : 12
            : 166
            23025418
            3545920
            1472-6882-12-166
            10.1186/1472-6882-12-166
            Copyright ©2012 Chaudhary et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

            This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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