IPSIndian Journal of Pharmacology
Home  IPS  Feedback Subscribe Top cited articles Login 
Users Online : 240 
Small font sizeDefault font sizeIncrease font size
Navigate Here
  Search
 
  
Resource Links
 »  Similar in PUBMED
 »  Search Pubmed for
 »  Search in Google Scholar for
 »Related articles
 »  Article in PDF (597 KB)
 »  Citation Manager
 »  Access Statistics
 »  Reader Comments
 »  Email Alert *
 »  Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)

 
In This Article
 »  Abstract
 » Introduction
 »  Materials and Me...
 » Results
 » Discussion
 » Acknowledgments
 »  References
 »  Article Figures
 »  Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    Viewed2278    
    Printed101    
    Emailed1    
    PDF Downloaded83    
    Comments [Add]    

Recommend this journal

 


 
 Table of Contents    
SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 43  |  Issue : 6  |  Page : 694-698
 

Chemical composition and vasorelaxant effect induced by the essential oil of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown. (Verbenaceae) in rat mesenteric artery


1 Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão - SE, Brazil
2 Departamento de Agronomia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão - SE, Brazil
3 Departamento de Química, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão - SE, Brazil

Date of Submission23-Mar-2011
Date of Decision19-Apr-2011
Date of Acceptance31-Aug-2011
Date of Web Publication14-Nov-2011

Correspondence Address:
Márcio R.V Santos
Departamento de Fisiologia, Universidade Federal de Sergipe, São Cristóvão - SE
Brazil
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: FAPITEC-SE and CNPq, Brazil, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0253-7613.89828

Rights and Permissions

 » Abstract 

Objectives : To investigate the chemical composition and vasorelaxant effect of the essential oil of Lippia alba (EOLA) in rat mesenteric artery.
Material and Methods : Chemical composition of EOLA was investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Vasorelaxant effect was evaluated in vitro in rat superior mesenteric artery rings.
Results : GC/MS analysis revealed the presence of 19 compounds, with geranial (48.58%) and neral (35.42%) being the major constituents. In intact rings precontracted with phenylephrine (Phe: 1 μM), EOLA (100-1000 μg/mL) induced relaxation, where the maximal effect (Emax) was 110.8 ± 10.8%. This effect was not modified after endothelium removal (Emax = 134.8 ± 16.5%), after tetraethylammonium (TEA) (Emax = 117.2 ± 4.96%), or in rings precontracted with KCl (80 mM) (Emax = 112.6 ± 6.70%). In addition, EOLA was able to inhibit the contraction caused by CaCl 2 and produced a small but significant (P<0.05) additional effect (from 70.5 ± 3.4 to 105.3 ± 13.5%, n = 5) on the maximal relaxation of nifedipine (NIF: 10 μM).
Conclusions : The results demonstrated that EOLA induces endothelium-independent vasorelaxation, which appears to be caused, at least in part, by blocking Ca 2+ influx through voltage-operated Ca 2+ channels.


Keywords: Calcium channel, essential oil, Lippia alba, rat mesenteric artery, vasorelaxant effects


How to cite this article:
Maynard LG, Santos KC, Cunha PS, Barreto AS, Peixoto MG, Arrigoni-Blank F, Blank AF, Alves PB, Bonjardin LR, Santos MR. Chemical composition and vasorelaxant effect induced by the essential oil of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown. (Verbenaceae) in rat mesenteric artery. Indian J Pharmacol 2011;43:694-8

How to cite this URL:
Maynard LG, Santos KC, Cunha PS, Barreto AS, Peixoto MG, Arrigoni-Blank F, Blank AF, Alves PB, Bonjardin LR, Santos MR. Chemical composition and vasorelaxant effect induced by the essential oil of Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown. (Verbenaceae) in rat mesenteric artery. Indian J Pharmacol [serial online] 2011 [cited 2021 May 7];43:694-8. Available from: https://www.ijp-online.com/text.asp?2011/43/6/694/89828



 » Introduction Top


The essential oils are a mixture of volatile substances commonly found in aromatic plants composed of terpenes and non-terpene components. [1] Studies in animals have demonstrated the beneficial properties of essential oils in the cardiovascular system as antithrombotic, antiplatelet, endothelial protective, vasorelaxant, and hypotensive activities. [1],[2] Recent reports have shown that essential oils also produce CVS effects such as improvement in coronary flow, hypotension and bradycardia in humans. [3],[4]

The genus Lippia comprises approximately 250 species, which produce characteristic aromatic essential oils. [5] In Brazil, the species Lippia alba (Mill.) N.E. Brown (Verbenaceae) is an aromatic medicinal plant popularly known as "Erva Cidreira Brasileira" or "Cidreira". It has been one of the most commonly used aromatic herbs in Brazilian Folk Medicine for blood pressure control. [5],[6]

In spite of the fact that the antihypertensive effect of Lippia alba has already been studied, [7],[8] no data about the possible effect of the essential oil from this plant on vascular reactivity was found in the literature. Therefore, the objective of this work was to evaluate the chemical composition and vasorelaxant effect of the essential oil of L. alba (EOLA) in rat mesenteric artery and to investigate its possible mechanism of action.


 » Materials and Methods Top


Drugs and Solutions

The drugs used were: acetylcholine (ACh), L-phenylephrine (Phe), tetraethylammonium (TEA), cremophor (all from SIGMA), and nifedipine (NIF) (from RBI). The drugs were freely dissolved in distilled water. All stock solutions were maintained at 0 o C and diluted to the desired concentration with Tyrode solution for experiments.

The composition of the normal Tyrode's solution was (mM): NaCl 158.3, KCl 4.0, CaCl 2 2.0, NaHCO 3 10.0, C 6 H 12 O 6 5.6, MgCl 2 1.05, and NaH 2 PO 4 0.42. The K + -depolarizing solutions (KCl 80 and 60 mM) were made by replacing 80 or 60 mM KCl in the Tyrode's solution with equimolar NaCl. In nominally zero-Ca 2+ solution, CaCl 2 was omitted.

Animals

Male Wistar rats (200-300 g) were housed in controlled temperature (21±1° C) and exposed to a 12 hr light-dark cycle with free access to food (Purina-Brazil) and tap water. All procedures described in the present work are approved by the Animal Research Ethics Committee from the Federal University of Sergipe (CEPA n o 06/2009).

Plant Material, Preparation and Phytochemical Analyses of the Essential Oil

Leaves of L. alba were collected from the medicinal plants garden at the Federal University of Sergipe (Brazil) (latitude 11°00' S and longitude 37°12' W). A voucher specimen was identified and deposited at the Herbarium of the Federal University of Sergipe under code ASE 13495. EOLA was obtained from the dried leaves by hydrodistillation in a clevenger apparatus for 160 min and stored at 4 o C. When required, EOLA was dissolved with Tyrode΄s solution plus cremophor (0.1% v/v) for experiments at the desired concentrations.

EOLA was analyzed by gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) according to these experimental conditions: capillary column DB-5MS (30 x 0.25 x 0.25 mm, i.d.), electron impact 70 eV, helium (99.999%) was used as carrier gas at a constant flow of 1.2 mL min-1 and an injection volume of 0.5 μL (dilution in ethyl acetate), injector temperature 250°C, and detector temperature 280°C. The oven temperature was programmed from 50° C (isothermal for 2 min), with an increase of 4°C/min, to 200° C, then 10° C/min to 300° C, ending with a 10-min isothermal at 300° C. Mass spectra were taken at 70 eV, a scan interval of 0.5 s, and fragments from 40 to 550 Da. Quantitative analysis of the chemical constituents was performed by flame ionization gas chromatography (FID) under the same conditions as GC-MS. Identification of individual components of the essential oil was performed by computerized matching of the acquired mass spectra with those stored in the NIST21 and NIST107 mass spectral library of the GC-MS data system. Retention indices (RI) for all compounds were determined according to literature for each constituent as previously described. [9],[10]

Pharmacological experiments

Tissue preparation

Tissue preparation was performed as described by Menezes et al. [11] After animal sacrifice, superior mesenteric artery was removed, cleaned from connective and fat tissues, and sectioned in rings (1-2 mm). These rings were suspended by fine stainless steel hooks connected to a force transducer (Letica, Model TRI210, Italy) with cotton threads in organ baths containing 10 mL of Tyrode΄s solution. This solution was continually gassed with carbogen at 37 o C and the rings maintained under a resting tension of 0.75 g for 60 min (stabilization period). The isometric tension was recorded through the force transducer coupled to an amplifier-recorder (AVS, SP, Brazil). When necessary, endothelium was removed by gently rubbing the intimal surface of the vessels with a fine stainless steel wire, and its functionality was assessed by the ability of ACh (1 μM) to induce more than 75% relaxation of Phe (1 μM) tonus. The absence of the relaxation to ACh was taken as evidence that the rings were functionally denuded of endothelium.

EOLA Effect on Phe (1 μM) Tonus in Rings with or without Endothelium

After a stabilization period, contractions were induced with 1 μM of Phe in intact rings (with endothelium) or after endothelium removal (without endothelium). During the tonic phase of the contraction, vehicle (Tyrode΄s solution + cremophor) or different concentrations of EOLA (1, 3, 10, 30, 100, 300 and 1000 μg/mL, cumulatively) were added to the organ bath. The relaxations were measured in function of the developed tension before and after the addition of EOLA and expressed as percentage of relaxation from induced tonus. EOLA-induced vasorelaxation was statistically compared with the vehicle effect.

EOLA Effect on Phe (1 μM) or KCl (80 mM) Tonus in Rings Without Endothelium, or after TEA Incubation

After a stabilization period, contractions were induced either with 1 μM of Phe or with a high concentration of K + (KCl 80 mM) in rings without endothelium. The vasorelaxation was obtained and measured as previously described. Furthermore, vasorelaxation for EOLA was also obtained after preincubation (30 min) with 0.1 mM of TEA, a non-selective K+ channel blocker. [12]

EOLA Effect on Concentration-Response Curves for CaCl 2 in Rings Without Endothelium

After a stabilization period, rings without endothelium were incubated with nominally zero-Ca 2+ solution for 15 min and then exposed to nominally zero-Ca 2+ solution with KCl at 60 mM for next 15 min. Then, a first cumulative concentration-response curve for CaCl 2 (10 -6 , 3x10 -6 , 10 -5 , 3x10 -5 , 10 -4 , 3x10 -4 , 10 -3 , 3x10 -3 , 10 -2 , and 3x10 -2 M) was obtained. In these same preparations, after washout and exposed to nominally zero-Ca 2+ solution with KCl at 60 mM again, concentrations of EOLA (10, 30 and 300 μg/mL) were individually preincubated for 15 min and a second cumulative concentration-response curve for CaCl 2 was obtained. The results were expressed as percentages of the maximal response for CaCl 2 alone, and the curves were statistically compared.

EOLA Effect after Inhibition of the Dihydropyridine-Sensitive Voltage-Operated Calcium Channels (Cavs) by NIF (10 μM) in rings without endothelium

The involvement of dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca v s in the effect induced by EOLA was assessed by testing the oil (300 μg/mL) in rings without endothelium precontracted with Phe (1 μM) in the absence or presence of NIF (10 μM), a selective blocker of the dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca v s. [13],[14]

Statistical analysis


Values are expressed as mean ± standard error mean (SEM). When appropriate, one- or two-way ANOVA followed by the Bonferroni post-test were conducted in order to evaluate the differences between means. All statistical analyses were done by using Graph Pad Prism TM software.


 » Results Top


Phytochemical Screening

The chemical composition of EOLA revealed presence of 19 compounds, with geranial (48.58%) and neral (35.42%) being the major constituents [Table 1].
Table 1: Chemical composition of the essential oil of L. alba leaves

Click here to view


Pharmacological Results

Rings with intact endothelium (control), EOLA produced relaxations of tonus induced by Phe. This effect was not different from those obtained in endothelium-denuded rings [Figure 1].
Figure 1: Vasorelaxant effect of vehicle in the control condition (with endothelium) or of EOLA (1 - 1000 μg/mL, cumulatively) in the control condition (with endothelium) and after removal of endothelium in rings of rat superior mesenteric artery precontracted with Phe (1 μM). Values are mean ? SEM of six experiments. The data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA followed by the Bonferroni post-test

Click here to view


In endothelium-denuded rings precontracted with K + -depolarizing solution (KCl 80 mM), EOLA-induced vasorelaxation was similar to that obtained in endothelium-denuded rings precontracted with Phe or in the presence of TEA [Figure 2].
Figure 2: Vasorelaxant effect of EOLA (1 - 1000 μg/mL, cumulatively) in rings of rat superior mesenteric artery without endothelium precontracted with Phe (1 μM), precontracted with KCl 80 mM, or precontracted with Phe (1 ìM) after incubation with TEA (100 μM, 30 min). Values are mean ? SEM of six experiments. The data were
analyzed with one-way ANOVA followed by the Bonferroni post-test


Click here to view


EOLA significantly (P<0.001) antagonized CaCl 2 -induced contraction at 10 mg/ml and significantly (P<0.001) abolished at 30 and 300 μg/ml [Figure 3].
Figure 3: Concentration-response curves for CaCl2 (10-6 to 3.10-3 M) before (Control) and after the incubation of preparations with EOLA (10, 30 and 300 μg/mL) in rings of rat mesenteric artery without endothelium. Values are expressed as mean ? SEM of six experiments. The data were analyzed with repeated-measures two-way ANOVA followed by the Bonferroni post-test. *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01 and ***P < 0.001 versus Control

Click here to view


Preparations without endothelium precontracted with Phe, both EOLA (300 μg/mL) and NIF (10 μM), separately, were able to induce vasorelaxations. In rings preincubated with NIF, EOLA (300 μg/mL) induced a small but significant (P<0.05) additional effect [Figure 4].
Figure 4: Vasorelaxant effect of nifedipine (NIF: 10 μM), EOLA (300 μg/mL) and EOLA (300 μg/mL) after the maximum relaxation of NIF (10 μM) in rings of rat mesenteric artery without endothelium precontracted with Phe (1 μM). Values are expressed as mean ? SEM of 6 experiments. The data were analyzed with one-way ANOVA followed by the Bonferroni post-test.

Click here to view



 » Discussion Top


This study demonstrated the possible benefits of EOLA on the cardiovascular system by producing vasorelaxation that appeared to have a calcium-blocking property similar to other drugs used in the treatment of hypertension, such as nifedipine and verapamil. [13],[14]

The phytochemical analysis of EOLA demonstrated the presence of several compounds, among them geranial and neral, which were the major constituents of the oil.

EOLA produced relaxations of Phe tonus in rings with intact endothelium. According to literature, vascular tone is modulated by endothelium-derived relaxant factors (EDRFs), including nitric oxide (NO) and prostacyclin (PGI 2 ). [15] To verify the role of the endothelium in EOLA-induced vasorelaxation, experiments were performed on endothelium-denuded rings. As observed, there was no difference between intact (control) and endothelium-denuded ring relaxations, suggesting that this effect is not mediated by vascular endothelium.

It is well known that the maintenance of smooth muscle contraction depends on Ca 2+ influx through mainly Ca v s. [16] It is also reported that the increase of external K + concentration induces smooth muscle contraction through Ca v s activation and subsequent calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum. [16] This contraction is inhibited by Ca 2+ channel blockers or by removal of external Ca 2+ and is, therefore, entirely dependent on Ca 2+ influx. [16] Based on this assumption, in another set of experiments, EOLA was tested on endothelium-denuded rings precontracted with K + -depolarizing solution. It was observed that EOLA-induced vasorelaxation was similar to that obtained in rings precontracted with Phe, which suggests that EOLA appears to be acting through a similar pathway between both contractile agents, i.e., the inhibition of the Ca +2 influx.

In order to emphasize the hypothesis above, we obtained concentration-response curves for CaCl 2 before and after incubation with EOLA. In this condition, EOLA was able to inhibit the contractions induced by CaCl 2. As reported by Chan et al., [17] NIF, a dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca v s selective blocker, also inhibited the concentration-response curve for CaCl 2 , which strongly supports that EOLA could possibly be acting as a calcium channel blocker.

Furthermore, in preparations without endothelium precontracted with Phe, EOLA was able to induce a small but significant additional vasorelaxant effect on the maximal relaxation of NIF, demonstrating that EOLA can be acting mainly through a similar pathway to NIF, i.e., blocking dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca v s.

Although the results show an important participation of the Ca +2 channels in EOLA effects, the possible involvement of K + channels can not be discarded. According to the literature, potassium channels are the dominant ion conductive pathways in vascular muscle cells. The electrochemical gradient for K + ions is such that the opening of K + channels results in diffusion of this cation out of the cells and membrane hyperpolarization. This effect closes Ca 2+ channels and leads to vasodilatation. [18]

Thus, the participation of the K + channels in EOLA-induced vasorelaxation was investigated by using rings without functional endothelium precontracted with Phe in the absence or presence of TEA, a non-selective blocker of these channels. [12] In this condition, EOLA was able to induce relaxation that was not significantly different from the control. This result suggests that K + channels do not seem to be involved in the vasorelaxant effect induced by EOLA.

A previous study by Guerrero et al., [7] using the ethanol extract from Lippia alba, has demonstrated vasorelaxant effect in rat-isolated aorta rings. These results are in agreement with our findings. On the other hand, unlike our results, Guerrero et al. [7] have also demonstrated that this extract does not produce a hypotensive effect in anesthetized rats. The observed difference can be due to the type of extract or dose, or anesthetic agent used in the animal.

The literature has also demonstrated that essential oil produces vasorelaxation by several mechanisms of action, among them inhibition of calcium influx or through endothelial mediators. The results of the present work are analogous to that described by Lahlou et al., Menezes et al., and Moreira et al., [3],[11],[19] who have demonstrated that the essential oils of Aniba canelilla Bark, Cymbopongon winterianus, and Cymbopongon citratus, respectively, medicinal plants used in folk medicine for hypertension treatment, produce vasorelaxation through an inhibition of calcium inward current. On the other hand, Guedes et al. [20] showed that the essential oil of Mentha x villosa in rats induces vasorelaxation by a pathway involving endothelial mediators.

In conclusion, these results demonstrate that EOLA induces vasorelaxation in rat mesenteric artery possibly due to an inhibition of the Ca 2+ influx through dihydropyridine-sensitive Ca v s. This plant seems to present a potential clinical use for hypertension treatment; however, further studies are necessary to evaluate its safety and therapeutic margin before human use.


 » Acknowledgments Top


We thank Mr. Osvaldo Andrade Santos for technical support. This work was supported by grants from FAPITEC-SE and CNPq, Brazil.

 
 » References Top

1.Edris AE. Pharmaceutical and therapeutic potentials of essential oils and their individual volatile constituents: A review. Phytother Res 2007;21:308-23.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Lahlou S, Magalhães PJ, de Siqueira RJ, Figueiredo AF, Interaminense LF, Maia JG, et al. Cardiovascular effects of the essential oil of Aniba canelilla bark in normotensive rats. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 2005;46:412-21.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Shiina Y, Funabashi N, Lee K, Toyoda T, Sekine T, Honjo S, et al. Relaxation effects of lavender aromatherapy improve coronary flow velocity reserve in healthy men evaluated by transthoracic Doppler echocardiography. Int J Cardiol 2008;129:193-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Dayawansa S, Umeno K, Takakura H, Hori E, Tabuchi E, Nagashima Y, et al. Autonomic responses during inhalation of natural fragrance of cedrol in humans. Auton Neurosci 2003;108:79-86.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Oliveira DR, Leitão GG, Santos SS, Bizzo HR, Lopes D, Alviano CS, et al. Ethnopharmacological study of two Lippia species from Oriximiná, Brazil. J Ethnopharmacol 2006;108:103-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
6.Hennebelle T, Sahpaz S, Joseph H, Bailleul F. Ethnopharmacology of Lippia alba. J. Ethnopharmacol 2008;116:211-22.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.Guerrero MF, Puebla P, Carrón R, Martín ML, Arteaga L, Román LS. Assessment of the antihypertensive and vasodilator effects of ethanolic extracts of some Colombian medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol 2002;80:37-42.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.Zetola M, De Lima T, Sonaglio G, González Ortega G, Limberger RP, Petrovick PE, et al. CNS activities of liquid and spray-dried extracts from Lippia alba - Verbenaceae (Brazilian false melissa). J Ethnopaharmacol 2002;82:207-15.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
9.Van Den Dool H, Kratz PD. A generalization of the retention index system including linear temperature programmed gas-liquid partition chromatography. J Chromatogr 1963;11:463-71.   Back to cited text no. 9
    
10.Adams RP. Identification of essential oil components by gas chromatograpy/mass spectroscopy. 4 th ed. Illinois, USA: Allured Publishing Corporation, Carol Stream: 2007.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
11.de Menezes IA, Moreira IJ, de Paula JW, Blank AF, Antoniolli AR, Quintans-Júnior LJ, et al. Cardiovascular effects induced by Cymbopogon winterianus essential oil in rats: Involvement of calcium channels and vagal pathway. J Pharm Pharmacol 2010;62:215-21.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
12.Cook NS. Effect of some potassium channel blockers on contractile responses of the rabbit aorta. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol 1989;13:299-306.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
13.Hagiwara S, Mitsui M, Karaki H. Effects of felodipine, nifedipine and verapamil on cytosolic Ca 2+ and contraction in vascular smooth muscle. Eur J Pharmacol 1993;234:1-7.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
14.Duggan K, Anderson C, Arnolda L, Boyden A, Cowley D, Dart A, et al. Guide to management of hypertension 2008. 3 rd ed. Sydney: National Heart Foundation of Australia; 2010.   Back to cited text no. 14
    
15.Moncada S, Palmer RM, Higgs EA. Nitric Oxide: Physiology, pathophysiology and pharmacology. Pharmacol Rev 1991;43:109-42.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
16.Karaki H, Weiss GB. Calcium release in smooth muscle. Life Sci 1988;42:111-22.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
17.Chan W, Yao X, Ko W, Huang Y. Nitric oxide mediated endothelium-dependent relaxation induced by glibenclamide in rat isolated aorta. Cardiovasc Res 2000;46:180-7.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
18.Jackson WF. Ion channels and vascular tone. Hypertension 2000;35:173-8.  Back to cited text no. 18
    
19.Moreira FV, Bastos, JF, Blank AF, Alves PB, Santos MR. Chemical composition and cardiovascular effects induced by the essential oil of Cymbopogon citratus DC. Stapf, Poaceae, in rats. Rev Bras Farmacogn 2010;20:904-09.  Back to cited text no. 19
    
20.Guedes DN, Silva DF, Barbosa-Filho JM, Medeiros IA. Endothelium-dependent hypotensive and vasorelaxant effects of the essential oil from aerial parts of Mentha x villosa in rats. Phytomedicine 2004;11:490-7.  Back to cited text no. 20
    


    Figures

  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]
 
 
    Tables

  [Table 1]



 

Top
Print this article  Email this article
 

    

Site Map | Home | Contact Us | Feedback | Copyright and Disclaimer
Online since 20th July '04
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow