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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 614849, 8 pages
Research Article

Effect of Imperatorin on the Spontaneous Motor Activity of Rat Isolated Jejunum Strips

1Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, 8 Ciszewskiego Street, 02-786 Warsaw, Poland
2Department of Pharmacognosy with Medicinal Plants Unit, Medical University of Lublin, 1 Chodzki, 20-819 Lublin, Poland

Received 21 April 2015; Revised 12 June 2015; Accepted 18 June 2015

Academic Editor: Ho Lin

Copyright © 2015 Marta Mendel 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.


Imperatorin, a psoralen-type furanocoumarin, is a potent myorelaxant agent acting as a calcium antagonist on vascular smooth muscle. Its effects on other types of smooth muscle remain unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the hypothesized myorelaxant effect of imperatorin on gut motor activity and, possibly, to define the underlying mechanism of action. Imperatorin was made available for pharmacological studies from the fruits of the widely available Angelica officinalis through the application of high-performance countercurrent chromatography (HPCCC). Imperatorin generated reversible relaxation of jejunum strips dose-dependently (1–100 μM). At 25 and 50 μM, imperatorin caused relaxation comparable to the strength of the reaction induced by isoproterenol (Isop) at 0.1 μM. The observed response resulted neither from the activation of soluble guanylate cyclase, nor from β-adrenoreceptor involvement, nor from Ca2+-activated potassium channels. Imperatorin relaxed intestine strips precontracted with high potassium concentration, attenuated the force and duration of K+-induced contractions, and modulated the response of jejunum strips to acetylcholine. The results suggest that imperatorin probably interacts with various Ca2+ influx pathways in intestine smooth muscle. The types of some calcium channels involved in the activity of imperatorin will be examined in a subsequent study.