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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8703239, 9 pages
Research Article

Cortex phellodendri Extract Relaxes Airway Smooth Muscle

1Institute for Medical Biology & Hubei Provincial Key Laboratory for Protection and Application of Special Plants in Wuling Area of China, College of Life Sciences, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China
2Key Laboratory of Chinese Medicine Resource and Compound Prescription, Hubei University of Chinese Medicine, Wuhan 430065, China
3College of Pharmacy, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China
4Wuhan Institute for Neuroscience and Engineering, South-Central University for Nationalities, Wuhan 430074, China
5Department of Medicine-Cardiology, Feinberg Cardiovascular Research Institute, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA
6Acute Lung Injury Center of Excellence, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA

Received 2 January 2016; Accepted 11 April 2016

Academic Editor: Alexandre de Paula Rogerio

Copyright © 2016 Qiu-Ju Jiang 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.


Cortex phellodendri is used to reduce fever and remove dampness and toxin. Berberine is an active ingredient of C. phellodendri. Berberine from Argemone ochroleuca can relax airway smooth muscle (ASM); however, whether the nonberberine component of C. phellodendri has similar relaxant action was unclear. An n-butyl alcohol extract of C. phellodendri (NBAECP, nonberberine component) was prepared, which completely inhibits high K+- and acetylcholine- (ACH-) induced precontraction of airway smooth muscle in tracheal rings and lung slices from control and asthmatic mice, respectively. The contraction induced by high K+ was also blocked by nifedipine, a selective blocker of L-type Ca2+ channels. The ACH-induced contraction was partially inhibited by nifedipine and pyrazole 3, an inhibitor of TRPC3 and STIM/Orai channels. Taken together, our data demonstrate that NBAECP can relax ASM by inhibiting L-type Ca2+ channels and TRPC3 and/or STIM/Orai channels, suggesting that NBAECP could be developed to a new drug for relieving bronchospasm.