Relaxant effects of a hydroalcoholic extract of Ruta graveolens on isolated rat tracheal rings
Campos,Rui Ribeiro de
BACKGROUND: Ruta graveolens L. (R. graveolens) is a medicinal plant employed in non-traditional medicines that has various therapeutic properties, including anthelmintic, and vasodilatory actions, among others. We evaluated the trachea-relaxant effects of hydroalcoholic extract of R. graveolens against potassium chloride (KCl)- and carbachol-induced contraction of rat tracheal rings in an isolated organ bath. RESULTS: The results showed that the airway smooth muscle contraction induced by the depolarizing agent (KCl) and cholinergic agonist (carbachol) was markedly reduced by R. graveolens in a concentration-dependent manner, with maximum values of 109 ± 7.9 % and 118 ± 2.6 %, respectively (changes in tension expressed as positive percentages of change in proportion to maximum contraction), at the concentration of 45 μg/mL (half-maximal inhibitory concentration IC50: 35.5 μg/mL and 27.8 μg/mL for KCl- and carbachol-induced contraction, respectively). Additionally, the presence of R. graveolens produced rightward parallel displacement of carbachol dose-response curves and reduced over 35 % of the maximum smooth muscle contraction. CONCLUSIONS: The hydroalcoholic extract of R. graveolens exhibited relaxant activity on rat tracheal rings. The results suggest that the trachea-relaxant effect is mediated by a non-competitive antagonistic mechanism. More detailed studies are needed to identify the target of the inhibition, and to determine more precisely the pharmacological mechanisms involved in the observed biological effects.