Acanthopanax senticosus Induces Vasorelaxation via Endothelial Nitric Oxide-Dependent and -Independent Pathways.
Planta Med. 2019 Sep ;85(13):1080-1087. Epub 2019 Jul 23. PMID: 31342475
Althoughroot extract (ASRE), a functional food used in Japan, improves peripheral blood circulation and exerts vasorelaxant effects in rats under healthy conditions, the underlying mechanisms currently remain unclear. Therefore, we investigated the mechanisms responsible for ASRE-induced relaxation in isolated thoracic aortas using organ bath techniques and examined whether ASRE affects systemic and peripheral circulation using a photoplethysmographic tail-cuff system and noncontact laser tissue blood flow meter in Wistar rats. Similar to acetylcholine (ACh), ASRE induced dose-dependent relaxation in aortas pre-contracted with phenylephrine; however, in contrast to ACh, ASRE-induced relaxation was partially inhibited by treatments with antagonists of nitric oxide (NO) synthase and soluble guanylyl cyclase as well as by endothelium removal. Contractile responses to phenylephrine or potassium chloride were observed in the presence of ASRE. The oral administration of ASRE (900 mg/kg/d for 1 wk) decreased systolic blood pressure in rats 3 h after the treatment and did not affect heart rate, tail blood flow, mass, or velocity; this decreasing effect was not observed on day 2. A 1-wk treatment with ASRE did not affect vasorelaxation in response to ASRE. These resultsdemonstrate that ASRE induces vasorelaxation via endothelial NO production and an NO-independent pathway in rats. Based on these findings, positive impacts of ASRE on blood pressure and peripheral blood circulation cannot be expected under healthy conditions as the systemic effects of ASRE are temporary. Instead, caution is needed to prevent the occurrence of side effects (i.e., orthostatic dizziness) at the beginning of ASRE dosing.