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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2011, Article ID 783413, 7 pages
Original Article

Evaluation of In Vitro Uterotonic Activities of Fruit Extracts of Ficus asperifolia in Rats

1Animal Physiology and Phytopharmacology Laboratory, Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Dschang, Po Box 377 Dschang, Cameroon
2Department of Chemistry, University of Dschang, Box 67 Dschang, Cameroon

Received 10 February 2009; Accepted 1 December 2009

Copyright © 2011 Pierre Watcho 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 aim of the present study was to determine the uterotonic activities of Ficus asperifolia and investigate its mechanism. The effects of aqueous and methanol extracts of the dried fruits of F. asperifolia (0.05–1.60 mg mL−1) were evaluated on estrogenized isolated rat uterus in the presence and absence of atropine (1.73–55.27 nM), pyrilamine maleate (1.25 × 10−3 to 40 × 10−3 M), indomethacin (0.06 × 10−5 to 2.00 × 10−5 M) or hexamethonium (0.66 × 10−4 to 21.43 × 10−4 M). Aqueous (EC50, 0.36 mg mL−1) and methanol (EC50, 0.22 mg mL−1) extracts as well as oxytocin (EC50, 0.02 nM), acetylcholine (EC50, 7.87 nM) and histamine (EC50, 0.76 nM) evoked concentration-dependent contractions of the uterus. Atropine, pyrilamine maleate and indomethacin concentration dependently blocked the response of the uterus to acetylcholine (IC50, 4.82 nM), histamine (IC50, 2.49 nM) and oxytocin (IC50, 0.07 nM), respectively, and to aqueous extract. Hexamethonium produced graded decreases in oxytocin-induced uterine contractions (IC50, 0.37 μM), but did not prevent the contractile effects of the aqueous extract (IC50, 9.88 μM). These results suggest that F. asperifolia-induced uterotonic effect is related to the release of prostaglandins and contraction of the myometrial cells through muscarinic, oxytocic and H1 histamine receptors. These data further give added value to the ethnic use of F. asperifolia for its abortificient and contraceptive properties.