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Berberis vulgaris and hypertension



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Phytother Res. 2005 Mar;19(3):222-5.  The antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of aqueous extract from Berberis vulgaris fruit on hypertensive rats.  Fatehi-Hassanabad Z1, Jafarzadeh M, Tarhini A, Fatehi M.

The aqueous extract from Berberis vulgaris fruit (B.V.) was tested to evaluate its antihypertensive effects on DOCA-induced hypertension in the rats. Hypertension was induced in male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 g) by DOCA-salt injection (20 mg/kg, twice weekly, for 5 weeks, s.c.) plus NaCl (1%) which was added to the animals' drinking water. Then 5 weeks later, the rats were anaesthetized with thiopental (30 mg/kg, i.p.) and the arterial blood pressure was measured. The mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate were 231 +/- 6.4 (mmHg) and 506 +/- 12 (beats/min), respectively. Administration of B.V. extracts significantly reduced the rat arterial blood pressure. In in vitro studies, rings of descending aorta were cut and mounted for isometric tension recording in an organ chamber containing Krebs solution. Mesenteric beds were also removed and perfused with Krebs solution. After 1 h of stabilization, preparations (aortic rings or mesenteric beds) were precontracted with phenylephrine (10(-5) M), then different concentrations of B.V. (0.4, 2 and 4 mg/mL) were added which caused a relaxation in these vessels. To investigate the mechanism of action of the extract, the tissues were incubated with either L-NAME (10(-5) M) or indomethacin (10(-5) M) for 20 min. In the aortic rings L-NAME pretreatment could only reduce the vasodilatory effects of a low concentration of B.V. (0.4 mg/mL), but indomethacin was without effect. In isolated perfused mesenteric beds preincubation with either L-NAME or indomethacin did not modify the vasodilator effects of the aqueous extract from B.V. fruit. The present results suggest that the antihypertensive and vasodilatory effects of B.V. fruit extract are mainly endothelial-independent and it may be used to treat hypertension, a status with endothelial dysfunction.

PMID:  15934023

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