Antispasmodic and bronchodilator activities of Artemisia vulgaris are mediated through dual blockade of muscarinic receptors and calcium influx

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Aim of the study: The present study describes antispasmodic, antidiarrheal, bronchodilatory and tracheo-relaxant activities of Artemisia vulgaris to rationalize some of its traditional uses. Materials And Methods: Crude extract of Artemisia vulgaris (Av.Cr) was studied in the isolated tissue preparations of rabbit jejunum and guinea-pig trachea, as well as in the in vivo castor oil-induced diarrhea and bronchodilatory techniques. Results: Av.Cr which tested positive for alkaloids, coumarins, flavonoids, saponins, sterols, tannins and terpenes caused concentration-dependent (0.03-10 mg/mL) relaxation of jejunum spontaneous contractions. Av.Cr inhibited the carbachol (CCh, 1 mu M) and K(+) (80 mM)-induced contractions in a pattern, similar to that of dicyclomine. Av.Cr shifted the Ca(2+) concentration-response curves to right, like that caused by verapamil and dicyclomine. Av.Cr produced rightward parallel shift in CCh-curves, followed by non-parallel shift at higher concentration with the suppression of the maximum response, similar to that caused by dicyclomine. It exhibited protective effect against castor oil-induced diarrhea and CCh-mediated bronchoconstriction in rodents. In trachea, Av.Cr relaxed the CCh (1 mu M) and K(+) (80 mM)induced contractions and shifted the CCh-curves to right. Conclusion: These results indicate that Artemisia vulgaris exhibits combination of anticholinergic and Ca(2+) antagonist mechanisms, which provides pharmacological basis for its folkloric use in the hyperactive gut and airways disorders, such as abdominal colic, diarrhea and asthma.


Journal of Ethnopharmacology