MECHANISMS UNDERLYING VASORELAXANT ACTION OF ASTRAGALOSIDE IV IN ISOLATED RAT AORTIC RINGS (Englisch)

Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology

Astragaloside IV is a component from the widely used traditional Chinese herb Astragalus membranaceus and its effect on rat aortic ring contraction and relaxation were investigated.

The aorta from male Sprague‐Dawley rats was isolated in an organ bath and ring tension was recorded with or without endothelium. Cumulatative effects of astragaloside IV on vessel contraction and relaxation were observed in the presence of various antagonists related to vessel activity.

Astragaloside IV showed concentration‐dependent inhibition of vessel contraction induced by phenylephrine and potassium chloride. The amount of calcium released from intracellular stores sensitive to phenylephrine was also markedly reduced by astragaloside IV. There was dose‐dependent vasorelaxation in endothelium‐intact rings, which was partly inhibited by pre‐incubation with nitric oxide (NO) synthase (NOS) Nw‐nitro‐l‐arginine methyl ester and guanylate cyclase inhibitor, 1H‐[1,2,4] oxadiazolo [4,3‐a] quinoxalin‐1‐one. Astragaloside IV also induced a significant increase in aortic tissue content of guanosine 3",5"‐cyclic monophosphate (cGMP) both in vivo and in vitro. Endothelial NOS inhibitor Nw‐nitro‐l‐arginine prevented vasodilatation, whereas neuronal NOS inhibitor 7‐nitroindazole did not show significant influence on the vessel relaxation of astragaloside IV.

In conclusion, astragaloside IV inhibited vessel contraction through blocking calcium influx and intracellular calcium release. The endothelium‐dependent vessel dilation of astragaloside IV was attributed mainly to the endothelium‐dependent NO–cGMP pathway.

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