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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 304394, 9 pages
Research Article

Pharmacological Effects of Lactuca serriola L. in Experimental Model of Gastrointestinal, Respiratory, and Vascular Ailments

1Faculty of Pharmacy, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan 60800, Pakistan
2Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Karachi, Karachi 75270, Pakistan
3Department of Pharmacy, University of Salerno, Via Ponte don Melillo, 84084 Fisciano, Italy

Received 7 January 2013; Accepted 12 March 2013

Academic Editor: Muhammad Nabeel Ghayur

Copyright © 2013 Khalid Hussain Janbaz 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.


Lactuca serriola L. has traditionally been used in folkloric medicine to manage respiratory, gastrointestinal, and multiple other ailments. The present study was undertaken to explore the effect of methanol extract of L. serriola on isolated rabbit tissue preparations, that is, jejunum, trachea, and aorta in an attempt to validate its folkloric use in traditional medicine for gastrointestinal, respiratory, and vascular ailments. The application of the methanol extract to isolated rabbit jejunum preparations exhibited concentration-dependent spasmogenic effect (0.03 to 3.0 mg/mL), but interestingly further increase in concentration (5.0 mg/mL) resulted in complete spasmolytic effect. The pretreatment of the tissue preparations with atropine (0.1 μM) caused the suppression of the contractile response. Moreover, the same extract also caused relaxation of K+-(80 mM) induced spastic contractions of isolated rabbit jejunum preparations (5.0 mg/mL) and shifted the Ca++ dose response curves towards right at concentration range of 0.3–1.0 mg/mL. Similarly, the extract application to isolated rabbit tracheal preparations relaxed the carbachol-(1 μM) induced (0.3–1.0 mg/mL) as well as K+-(80 mM) induced contractions (3.0 mg/mL). Furthermore, it relaxed the phenylephrine (1 μM)-induced contractions in isolated rabbit aorta preparations (3.0 mg/mL) and K+ (80 mM)-induced contractions (1.0 mg/mL). These effects were found comparable to that of dicyclomine, as an antagonist of muscarinic receptors as well as a possible Ca++ channel blocker. The previously mentioned findings may partially justify the folkloric use of Lactuca serriola in the management of conditions pertaining to spasm of intestine, bronchioles, and vasculature.