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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 569853, 10 pages
Research Article

Prokinetic Activity of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch Flowers Extract and Its Possible Mechanism of Action in Rats

1Department of General Surgery, Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Institute, Lanzhou University Second Hospital, Lanzhou 730030, China
2Department of Physiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Capital Medical University, Beijing 100069, China
3Disease Control and Prevention Center of Qingan, Tianshui 741600, China
4Department of Pharmacology, Xuanwu Hospital of Capital Medical University, Beijing 100053, China

Received 4 December 2014; Accepted 5 February 2015

Academic Editor: Terry K. Smith

Copyright © 2015 Wei Han et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The peach tree, Prunus persica (L.) Batsch, is widely cultivated in China, and its flowers have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine to treat gut motility disorders. But few studies have explored the pharmacological effect of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers on gastrointestinal motility. In this study, the activities of different extracts from Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers on the smooth muscle contractions were evaluated using isolated colon model, and the ethyl acetate extract (EAE) showed the strongest effects in vitro. EAE (10−8–10−5 g/mL) caused a concentration-dependent stimulatory effect in rat colonic tissue. Additionally, ketotifen (100 µM), cimetidine (10 µM), and pyrilamine (1 µM) produced a significant inhibition of contractions caused by EAE. Furthermore, immunofluorescence and toluidine blue staining revealed increased numbers of mast cells in the EAE group, and EAE increased histamine release from the colonic tissues. These data indicate that EAE has significant prokinetic activity and acts by a mechanism that mainly involves mast cell degranulation. Our study provides a pharmacological basis for the use of an extract of Prunus persica (L.) Batsch flowers in the treatment of gut motility disorders.