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 Table of Contents    
Year : 2012  |  Volume : 44  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 516-518

Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera in guinea-pig trachea

Department of Pharmacology, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi - 75270, Pakistan

Date of Submission16-Nov-2011
Date of Decision08-Feb-2012
Date of Acceptance30-Apr-2012
Date of Web Publication3-Aug-2012

Correspondence Address:
Shabana Channa
Department of Pharmacology, HEJ Research Institute of Chemistry and Dr. Panjwani Center for Molecular Medicine and Drug Research International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences, University of Karachi, Karachi - 75270
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.99336

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 » Abstract 

Objective: To demonstrate the calcium antagonistic property of ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera in guinea-pig trachea.
Materials and Methods: The dose response curves of CaCl 2 (1 × 10 -5 to 1 × 10 -1 M) were constructed in the absence and presence of ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera (100, 500 and 700 μg/ml) or nifedipine (1 × 10 -6 M) in guinea-pig trachea in calcium free high K + -MOPS-PSS (3-(N-morpholino)-propanesulphonic acid physiological salt solution). The data was analyzed by ANOVA followed by least significant difference test or by Student's 't' test for unequal variance when appropriate. A probability of at least P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The plant extract (500 and 700 μg/ml) significantly (P < 0.05) depressed and shifted the calcium concentration-response curves (1 × 10 -3 - 1 × 10 -1 M) to rightward similar to that of nifedipine.
Conclusions: Bacopa monniera extract exhibited calcium channel blocking activity in guinea-pig tracheal smooth muscles that may rationalize its relaxant action on guinea-pig trachea and its traditional use in respiratory disorders.

Keywords: Bacopa monniera , calcium channel antagonist, smooth muscle relaxation

How to cite this article:
Channa S, Dar A. Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera in guinea-pig trachea. Indian J Pharmacol 2012;44:516-8

How to cite this URL:
Channa S, Dar A. Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera in guinea-pig trachea. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Sep 24];44:516-8. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2012/44/4/516/99336

 » Introduction Top

Bacopa monniera (L.) Wettstein (Scrophulariaceae) [1] is a herbaceous plant found in wet and marshy areas of Indo-Pakistan. In folklore medicine it is used for the cure of various ailments including bronchitis, asthma, inflammation and nervine problems. [2] The plant is reported to have a broad spectrum of biological effects e.g., antioxidant, [3] anti-inflammatory, [4] anxiolytic, [5] hepatoprotective [6] and antidepressant activity. [7] Our earlier studies demonstrated that ethanol extract of B.monniera produced relaxant effect on blood vessels, trachea and intestinal tissues of rabbit and guinea-pig via a partial contribution of β-adrenoceptors and prostaglandins. [8] B.monniera also produced bronchodilation in anesthetized rats involving β-adrenoceptors dependent and independent mechanisms. [9] Later, studies carried on B.monniera in our laboratory clearly indicated that the spasmolytic effects of B.monniera extract on vascular and intestinal smooth muscles were predominantly due to inhibition of calcium channels (both voltage and receptor operated). [10] However, involvement of calcium channels in relaxant action of B.monniera on tracheal smooth muscle is not reported yet. Hence, the aim of present study was to observe the calcium antagonistic properties of B.monniera extract on isolated guinea-pig trachea.

 » Materials and Methods Top

Plant material and extraction

Bacopa monniera was collected during the summer from Karachi, Pakistan by Abrar Hussain. The botanical verification was done by Dr. Rubina Abid (Associate Professor) Department of Botany, University of Karachi. A voucher specimen was deposited at the Herbarium of this department under the reference number KUH-67276.

The whole plant material (air dried, five kg) was soaked in 95% ethanol (30 l) for eight days. The filtered solvent was evaporated by rotary evaporator and the resulting gummy material was transferred in an open  Petri dish More Details. It was then air dried in fume hood to remove residual ethanol. The crude ethanol extract of 259 g with a yield of 5.2% (w/w with reference to dried material) was obtained. [4]


Mongrel guinea-pigs (both sexes, weighing 400-800 g) bred in the animal house of H.E.J. Research Institute of Chemistry were kept in air conditioned rooms (23-25°C), lighting (12 h:12 h light-dark cycle) with free access to normal food and water. All animals received humane care and experiments were conducted in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals, published by the US National Institute of Health (NIH Publication, revised in1985).

Effect of Bacopa monniera extract on voltage-dependent calcium channels

The tracheal ring segments (2-3 mm) were prepared as described earlier. [11] To assess the effect of B.monniera extract on calcium influx, the response to various concentrations of calcium chloride was evaluated in trachea. The methodology was followed as described earlier. [12],[13] The bath solution (Krebs solution) was replaced by calcium free high K + -MOPS-PSS with the following composition (mM/L): NaCl 60.3, KCl 40.0, MgCl 2 1.19, MOPS 10 and glucose 11.1. The pH of the solution (MOPS- PSS) was adjusted to 7.4 with NaOH. The tissues were initially incubated in the depolarized solution for 10-30 minutes followed by cumulative concentration-response curves to CaCl 2 from 1 × 10 -5 to 1 × 10 -1 M representing the first concentration response curve (control). The time interval between each successive calcium additions was usually 4-40 minutes. After 30 minutes of tissue revival, nifedipine (1 × 10 -6 M) or vehicle (0.0095% acetone or 0.35% dimethyl sulfoxide, DMSO) or extract (100, 500 and 700 μg/ml) was added to the bath for 10 minutes followed by a second cumulative concentration response curve to CaCl 2 . Each preparation was exposed to single concentration of either extract or nifedipine. To minimize photolysis, the experiments with nifedipine were performed in the dark.

Drugs and solubility

Nifedipine was purchased from Sigma Chemical Co., St. Louis, USA. Other chemicals, including the reagents used in the preparation of physiological solutions were of analytical grade. Both nifedipine and Bacopa monniera extract were dissolved in 95% acetone and 10% DMSO (20 mg/ml), respectively as stock solution. Control experiments showed that either acetone (0.0095%) or DMSO (0.35% final concentration in the organ bath) had no effect on either baseline or contractile responses to CaCl 2 on trachea.

Data analysis

The experimental data were expressed as mean ± S.E.M. and the significance was analyzed by analysis of variance (ANOVA), followed by least-significant-difference (LSD) test to assess the significance of the differences between individual groups or by Student's t-test for unequal variance when appropriate. [14] A probability of at least P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. The concentration of the agent producing 50% of the maximal contraction (EC 50 ) in an individual experiment was determined graphically from concentration-response curve.

 » Results Top

The cumulative-response curves for CaCl 2 alone and in the presence of different concentrations of B.monniera extract (500 and 700 μg/ml) and nifedipine (1 × 10 -6 M) in trachea are depicted in [Figure 1]. The addition of calcium chloride caused concentration-dependent contraction with maximum tension of 640 ± 76 mg at 1 × 10 -2 M. These responses of CaCl 2 were reproducible over time, as three consecutive concentration-response curves obtained in control preparation of trachea remained unaffected during the course of the experiment. Pretreatment of the tissue with nifedipine or extract caused significant non-parallel and rightward shift to CaCal 2 (1 ×10 -3 - 1 × 10 -1 M) induced responses. The extract at 100 μg/ml caused non-significant reduction to CaCl 2 response (not shown). At 500 μg/ml it caused 46 ± 17% reduction to CaCl 2 however, almost complete inhibition (98 ± 1%) of maximum response to CaCl 2 was evident at 700 μg/ml which was comparable to that (97 ± 2%) produced by nifedipine. The EC 50 values of CaCl 2 were significantly decreased by the extract at both doses (500 and 700 μg/ml) [Table 1]. The nifedipine abolished the CaCl 2 curves completely in some experiments making it difficult to measure EC 50 values.
Figure 1: Tension (mg) produced by cumulative concentrations of calcium chloride in the absence or presence of ethanol extract of B.monniera and nifedipine in guinea-pig trachea. Control (■), 500 μg/ ml (▲), 700 μg/ml (·) of extract and nifedipine (1 × 10 -6 M, □). Values presented are mean ± S.E.M. at P < 0.05, using ANOVA followed by LSD test compared to control values. The inhibitory effect of extract on CaCl 2 was long lasting and completely reversible within 1 h. On the other hand the effect of nifedipine was revived completely only at 1 × 10 -2 M of CaCl 2

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Table 1: The EC 50 values of CaCl 2 in the absence and presence of nifedipine and ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera in guinea-pig trachea

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 » Discussion Top

Calcium-induced contractions of K + -depolarized smooth muscles are produced as a result of Ca 2+ flux; the inhibition of these contractions in such conditions is commonly accepted as a test for agents that act non-specifically by inhibiting Ca 2+ participation in excitation-contraction coupling process. [15],[16] Likewise, in present investigation the tracheal preparations were pre-incubated in depolarizing medium as described by other workers. [17],[18] The B.monniera extract suppressed calcium chloride-induced responses non-competitively like nifedipine, a known calcium channel blocker [19] thus demonstrating interaction of calcium channels with its relaxant action in trachea. These results are in agreement with our previous reports which indicated the existence of calcium antagonism property in ethanol extract and various fractions isolated from B.monniera in intestinal and vascular tissues from rabbit and guinea-pig. [10],[20] However, the presence of calcium antagonism property in B.monniera in guinea-pig trachea is reported for the first time here. Indeed, guinea-pig trachea was the tissue showing complete and long lasting relaxation by ethanol extract of B.monniera in our previous studies. [8]

Supporting results were also demonstrated earlier where B.monniera, its various fractions and pure constituents showed more potency towards inhibition of bronchoconstriction (tracheal pressure) induced by carbachol as compared to that on cardiovascular parameters of anesthetized rats. [9],[20] In addition to the involvement of calcium channels, other possible mechanisms for guinea-pig tracheal relaxation by B.monniera are the participation of prostaglandins and β-adrenoceptors. [8],[9]

Thus it can be suggested that relaxant effect of B.monniera on trachea encompass multiple mechanisms with the major participation of voltage-operated calcium channels. Nevertheless, characterization of specific type of voltage-operated calcium channel (s) remains to be elucidated.

 » References Top

1.Stewart RR. In: Nasir E, Ali SI, editors. Flora of west Pakistan. Karachi: Fakhri Printing Press; 1972. p. 646  Back to cited text no. 1
2.Nadkarni KM. Indian materia medica. Bombay: Popular Prakashan Private; 1976. p. 624-5.  Back to cited text no. 2
3.Bhattacharya SK, Bhattacharya A, Kumar A, Ghosal S. Antioxidant activity of Bacopa monniera in rat frontal cortex, striatum ad hippocampus. Phytother Res 2000;14:1-6.  Back to cited text no. 3
4.Channa S, Dar A, Anjum S, Yaqoob M, Rahman A. Anti-inflammatory activity of Bacopa monniera in rodents. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;104:286-9.  Back to cited text no. 4
5.Bhattacharya SK, Ghosal S. Anxiolytic activity of a standardized extract of Bacopa monniera: An experimental study. Phytomedicine 1998;5:77-82.  Back to cited text no. 5
6.Sumathi T, Nongbri A. Hepatoprotective effect of Bacoside-A, a major constituent of Bacopa monniera Linn. Phytomedicine 2008;15:901-5.  Back to cited text no. 6
7.Sairam K, Dorababu M, Goel RK, Bhattacharya SK. Antidepressant activity of standardized extract of Bacopa monniera in experimental models of depression in rats. Phytomedicine 2002;9:207-21.  Back to cited text no. 7
8.Dar A, Channa S. Relaxant effect of ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera on trachea, pulmonary artery and aorta from rabbit and guinea-pig. Phytother Res 1997;11:323-5.  Back to cited text no. 8
9.Dar A, Channa S. Bronchodilatory and cardiovascular effects of an ethanol extract of Bacopa monniera in anaesthetized rats. Phytomedicine 1997;4:319-23.  Back to cited text no. 9
10.Dar A, Channa S. Calcium antagonistic activity of Bacopa monniera on vascular and intestinal smooth muscles of rabbit and guinea-pig. J Ethnopharmacol 1999;66:167-74.  Back to cited text no. 10
11.Channa S, Dar A, Ahmed S, Rahman A. Evaluation of Alstonia scholaris leaves for broncho-vasodilatory activity. J Ethnopharmacol 2005;97:469-76.  Back to cited text no. 11
12.Jetley M, Weston AH. Some effects of sodium nitroprusside, methoxyverapamil (D 600) and nifedipine on rat portal vein. Br J Pharmacol 1980;68:311-9.  Back to cited text no. 12
13.Foster RW, Okpalugo BI, Small RC. Antagonism of Ca 2+ and other actions of verapamil in guinea-pig isolated trachealis. Br J Pharmacol 1984;81:499-507.  Back to cited text no. 13
14.Milton JS, Tsokos JO. Statistical methods in the biological and health sciences (International Student Ed.). London: McGraw-Hill; 1983. p. 281-90.  Back to cited text no. 14
15.Godfraind T, Kaba A. Blockade or reversal of the contraction induced by calcium ions and adrenaline in depolarized arterial smooth muscle. Br J Pharmacol 1969;36:549-60.  Back to cited text no. 15
16.Northover BJ. Indomethacin, a calcium antagonist. Gen Pharmacol 1977;8:293-6.  Back to cited text no. 16
17.Ko W-C, Wang H-L, Lei C-B, Shlh C-H, Chung M-I, Lin C-N. Mechanism of relaxant action of 3-O-Methylquercetin in isolated guinea pig trachea. Planta Med 2002;68:30-5.  Back to cited text no. 17
18.Aziz N, Mehmood MH, Mandukhal SR, Bashir S. Antihypertensive, antioxidant, antidyslipidemic and endothelial modulating activities of a polyherbal formulation (POL-10). Vascul Pharmacol 2009;50:57-64.  Back to cited text no. 18
19.Calixto JB, Loch S. Ketamine-inhibition of calcium-induced contractions in depolarized rat uterus: A comparison with other calcium antagonist. Br J Pharmacol 1985;85:189-95.  Back to cited text no. 19
20.Channa S, Dar A, Yaqoob M, Anjum S, Sultani Z, Rahman A. Broncho-vasodilatory activity of fractions and pure constituents isolated from Bacopa monniera. J Ethnopharmacol 2003;86:27-35.  Back to cited text no. 20


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