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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2014, Article ID 437803, 7 pages
Research Article

Effect of Flos carthami Extract and α1-Adrenergic Antagonists on the Porcine Proximal Ureteral Peristalsis

1Department of Anesthesiology, Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital, Taichung 435, Taiwan
2Graduate Institute of Integrated Medicine, Institute of Chinese Medicine, School of Chinese Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Research Center for Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, China Medical University, Taichung 404, Taiwan
3Department of Medicinal Botanicals and Health Applications, Da-Yeh University, Changhua 515, Taiwan
4Department of Life Sciences, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
5Graduate Institute of Geriatric Medicine, Anhui Medical University, Hefei 230032, China
6Department of Dermatology, Taichung Veterans General Hospital, Taichung 407, Taiwan
7Departments of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medical Genetics and Pediatrics, Dermatology, Medical Research, and Urology, China Medical University Hospital, Taichung 404, Taiwan
8Department of Urology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei 100, Taiwan

Received 10 March 2014; Revised 8 May 2014; Accepted 8 May 2014; Published 9 July 2014

Academic Editor: Shi-Biao Wu

Copyright © 2014 San-Yuan Wu 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.


Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has been proposed to prevent urolithiasis. In China, Flos carthami (FC, also known as Carthamus tinctorius) (Safflower; Chinese name: Hong Hua/紅花) has been used to treat urological diseases for centuries. We previously performed a screening and confirmed the in vivo antilithic effect of FC extract. Here, ex vivo organ bath experiment was further performed to study the effect of FC extract on the inhibition of phenylepinephrine (PE) (10−4 and 10−3 M) ureteral peristalsis of porcine ureters with several α1-adrenergic antagonists (doxazosin, tamsulosin, and terazosin) as experimental controls. The results showed that doxazosin, tamsulosin, and terazosin dose (approximately 4.5 × 10−6 − 4.5 × 10−1μg/mL) dependently inhibited both 10−4 and 10−3 M PE-induced ureteral peristalsis. FC extract achieved 6.2% ± 10.1%, 21.8% ± 6.8%, and 24.0% ± 5.6% inhibitions of 10−4 M PE-induced peristalsis at doses of 5 × 103, 1 × 104, and 2 × 104μg/mL, respectively, since FC extract was unable to completely inhibit PE-induced ureteral peristalsis, suggesting the antilithic effect of FC extract is related to mechanisms other than modulation of ureteral peristalsis.