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The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12906-017-1674-7) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
Alkaloids extracted from lotus leaves (AELL) can relax vascular smooth muscle. However, whether AELL has a similar relaxant role on airway smooth muscle (ASM) remains unknown. This study aimed to explore the relaxant property of AELL on ASM and the underlying mechanism.
Alkaloids were extracted from dried lotus leaves using the high temperature rotary evaporation extraction method. The effects of AELL on mouse ASM tension were studied using force measuring and patch-clamp techniques.
It was found that AELL inhibited the high K+ or acetylcholine chloride (ACh)-induced precontraction of mouse tracheal rings by 64.8 ± 2.9%, or 48.8 ± 4.7%, respectively. The inhibition was statistically significant and performed in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, AELL-induced smooth muscle relaxation was partially mediated by blocking voltage-dependent Ca2+ channels (VDCC) and non-selective cation channels (NSCC).
AELL, which plays a relaxant role in ASM, might be a new complementary treatment to treat abnormal contractions of the trachea and asthma.