ABSTRACT: Ulmus davidiana var. japonica Rehder (Urticales: Ulmaceae) (UD) is a tree widespread in northeast Asia. It is traditionally used for anticancer and anti-inflammatory therapy. The present study investigated the effect of an ethanol extract of UD on vascular tension and its underlying mechanism in rats. The dried root bark of UD was ground and extracted with 80% ethanol. The prepared UD extract was used in further analysis. The effect of UD on the cell viability, vasoreactivity and hemodynamics were investigated using propidium iodide staining in cultured cells, isometric tension recording and blood pressure analysis, respectively. Low dose of UD (10~100µg/ml) did not affect endothelial cell viability, but high dose of UD reduced cell viability. UD induced vasorelaxation in the range of 0.1~10µg/ml with an ED(50) value of 2µg/ml. UD-induced vasorelaxation was completely abolished by removal of the endothelium or by pre-treatment with L-NAME, an inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase. UD inhibited calcium influx induced by phenylephrine and high K(+) and also completely abolished the effect of L-NAME. Intravenous injection of UD extracts (10~100 mg/kg) decreased arterial and ventricular pressure in a dose-dependent manner. Moreover, UD extracts reduced the ventricular contractility (+dP/dt) in anesthetized rats. However, UD-induced hypotensive actions were minimized in L-NAME-treated rats. Taken together, out results showed that UD induced vasorelaxation and has antihypertensive properties, which may be due the activation of nitric oxide synthase in endothelium.
Korean Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology 12/2011; 15(6):339-44. · 0.96 Impact Factor