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Relaxant Effect of Berberine on Isolated Rabbit Corpus Cavernosum

Tan Yan 1, 2, Tang Qiang 1, Hu Benrong 1 et al 1Department of Pharmacology,School of Basic Medical Sciences,Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology,Wuhan 430030 2Department of Pharmacology,Yunyang Medical College,Shiyan 442000  
Objective To study the relaxant effects of berberine (Ber) on rabbit isolated corpus cavernosum.Methods Corpus cavernosum isolated from rabbits was exposed to increasing concentration of Ber and the changes of tension of isolated smooth muscle strips were recorded.Results ①Ber,sildenafil (Sild),papaverine (Pap) and amrinone (Amr) could concentration-dependently relax the smooth muscle of corpus cavernosum and the rank order of potency was: SildBerPapAmr. Their EC_ 50 was 0.84,6.20,15.00 and 27.69 μmol/L respectively.②L-NAME (0.1 mmol/L) could significantly attenuate the relaxation of Ber from maximum 100.0 % to (84.0±3.4) %,while L-arginine (1 mmol/L) almost completely recovered the maximum effects of Ber with maximum effect restoring to (96.0±4.5) %.③acetylcholine (ACh)-induced relaxation was enhanced by Ber (1 and 10μmol/L),with maximum response from (72.0±3.6) % to (81.0± 5.4) % or (93.0± 6.3) % respectively.④Ber (1 and 10μmol/L) had a slight effect on the contraction induced by extracellular high K + depolarization (P0.05).Conclusion Ber possessed a concentration (1 μmol/L and 0.1 mmol/L)-dependent relaxation in phenylephrine (PE)-precontracted corpus cavernosum and the mechanism of relaxation is attributed to NO-cGMP signal pathway.
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