Insight into the bronchodilator activity of Vitex negundo

Document Type



Biological and Biomedical Sciences


CONTEXT: Vitex negundo Linn. (Verbenaceae) is traditionally used in hyperactive respiratory disorders.Objective: This study explored the mechanisms underlying the effectiveness of Vitex negundo in hyperactive respiratory disorders.MATERIALS AND Methods: Crude extract of V. negundo leaves was obtained. For in vivo bronchodilatory activity in anesthetized rats, different doses (1, 3, 10, 30, and 50 mg/kg) of the crude extract of V. negundo (Vn.Cr) were tested. The underlying mechanisms were studied in isolated guinea pig tracheal strips, suspended in organ baths at 37 °C.Results: Intravenous doses of the crude extract of Vn.Cr showed dose-dependent bronchodilatory effect (9-50%) against carbachol (CCh; 100 g/kg)-induced bronchoconstriction, similar to aminophylline. In isolated guinea-pig tracheal strips, Vn.Crrelaxed CCh (1 M) and high K(+) pre-contractions with respective EC50 values of 0.72 (0.48-1.10; n = 5) and 3.38 mg/mL (1.84-6.21; n = 4), similar to papaverine. Diltiazem also relaxed both contractions with more potency against high K(+) pre-contraction (p < 0.05). Pre-incubation of the tracheal strips with Vn.Cr potentiated the isoprenaline inhibitory concentration response curves (CRCs), similar to papaverine.DISCUSSION: The inhibitory effect against CCh and high K(+) suggests involvement of phosphodiesterase (PDE) inhibitory pathway(s), in addition to an inhibitory effect on Ca(++) entry. This finding was further strengthened when pre-treatment of the tracheal strips potentiated the isoprenaline CRCs.CONCLUSION: RESULTS suggest Vn.Cr possesses a combination of papaverine-like PDE inhibitor and diltiazem-like Ca(++) entry blocking constituents, which partly explain its bronchodilatory effect, thus validating its medicinal importance in asthma.


Pharmaceutical Biology