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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 9870414, 12 pages
Research Article

Chloroform Extract of Artemisia annua L. Relaxes Mouse Airway Smooth Muscle

1Institute for Medical Biology and 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
2Wuhan Youzhiyou Biopharmaceutical Co., Ltd., 666 Gaoxin Rd., Biolake, Wuhan 430075, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Jinhua Shen; nc.ude.ceucs.liam@4801102

Received 4 July 2017; Revised 6 September 2017; Accepted 10 October 2017; Published 12 November 2017

Academic Editor: Onesmo B. Balemba

Copyright © 2017 Jun Huang 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.


Artemisia annua L. belongs to the Asteraceae family, which is indigenous to China. It has valuable pharmacological properties, such as antimalarial, anti-inflammatory, and anticancer properties. However, whether it possesses antiasthma properties is unknown. In the current study, chloroform extract of Artemisia annua L. (CEAA) was prepared, and we found that CEAA completely eliminated acetylcholine (ACh) or high K+-elicited (80 mM) contractions of mouse tracheal rings (TRs). Patch-clamp technique and ion channel blockers were employed to explore the underlying mechanisms of the relaxant effect of CEAA. In whole-cell current recording, CEAA almost fully abolished voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel (VDCC) currents and markedly enhanced large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channel currents on airway smooth muscle cells (ASMCs). In single channel current recording, CEAA increased the opening probability but had no effect on the single channel conductance of BK channels. However, under paxilline-preincubated (a selective BK channel blocker) conditions, CEAA only slightly increased BK channel currents. These results indicate that CEAA may contain active components with potent antiasthma activity. The abolished VDCCs by CEAA may mainly contribute to the underlying mechanism through which it acts as an effective antiasthmatic compound, but the enhanced BK currents might play a less important role in the antiasthmatic effects.