Abstract Title:

Comparison of the skeletal muscle relaxant properties of Portulaca oleracea extracts with dantrolene sodium and methoxyverapamil.

Abstract Source:

J Ethnopharmacol. 1987 Jul;20(2):85-106. PMID: 3657249

Abstract Author(s):

F Okwuasaba, C Ejike, O Parry


The effects of aqueous (AEE), dialysable (DIF) and methanol (MEE) extracts of Portulaca oleracea stems and leaves were compared with those of dantrolene sodium and methoxyverapamil (D-600) with respect to inhibition of twitch tension on the rat phrenic nerve-hemidiaphragm and with respect to contracture induced by nicotinic agonists on the frog rectus abdominis preparations. The extracts, dantrolene and D-600 inhibited twitch tension due to indirect electrical stimulation via the phrenic nerve (NS) on hemidiaphragm muscle, whereas the extracts and dantrolene inhibited, in addition, twitch amplitude due to direct muscle stimulation (MS). The extracts, dantrolene and D-600 also attenuated K+- and caffeine-induced contractures with the extracts and D-600 also reducing the time taken for the K+-induced contracture to fall to basal tension. In addition, the tetanic tension due to NS and MS was attenuated with only the extracts and dantrolene reducing the twitch/tetanus ratio (MS). There was a non-significant but consistent tendency for mutual potentiation between the extracts and dantrolene with respect to their inhibitory effect on twitch amplitude (MS) resulting in a shift to the left of the concentration-response curves to the extracts or dantrolene. This was not evident with the extracts and D-600 or dantrolene and D-600. Simultaneous addition of the extracts and dantrolene resulted in an increase in the rate of twitch tension inhibition and a decrease in the time to maximum relaxation of twitch amplitude (MS). The extracts and D-600 proved more effective in attenuating nicotinic agonist (acetylcholine, carbachol and nicotine)-induced contractures on the rectus abdominis muscle than dantrolene. From these observations, it appears that the Portulaca oleracea extracts mimic, in part, the effect of D-600 and dantrolene on the rat hemidiaphragm and frog rectus abdominis muscles; therefore, the muscle relaxant properties of the extracts may be due, in part, to inhibition of trans-membrane Ca influx, interference with the Ca-induced Ca release process and/or inhibition of the release of intracellular Ca from stores in the sarcoplasmic reticulum.

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