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Int J Physiol Pathophysiol Pharmacol 2012;4(1):36-44.
Inhibitory effects of salviae miltiorrhizae radix (danshen) and puerariae lobatae
radix (gegen) in carbachol-induced rat detrusor smooth muscle contractility
Willmann Liang, Ivy Wen Jia Teong, Johnny Chi Man Koon, Clara Bik San Lau, Kwok Pui Fung, Ping Chung Leung
School of Biological Sciences, College of Science, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Institute of Chinese Medicine, The
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; State Key Laboratory of Phytochemistry and Plant Resources in West China, The
Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China; School of Biomedical Sciences, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong
Received January 9, 2012; accepted February 12, 2012; Epub February 28, 2012; Published March 15, 2012
Abstract: Both danshen (D) and gegen (G) have proven relaxant effects on vascular smooth muscle, thus their potential bladder
inhibitory effects have impending interests in urology. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the novel effects of D and G on detrusor
smooth muscle contractility. Urothelium-intact (+UE) and urothelium-denuded (–UE) detrusor strips were isolated from the rat.
Isometric tension was measured using a myograph system. Carbachol (CCh) was used to pre-contract the detrusor strips prior to
stepwise relaxation by adding extracts of D, G, and a DG (7:3) formulation. Tonic relaxation level and phasic contractile activity under the
herbal treatments were analyzed. There was no difference in the herbal effects between +UE and –UE strips. D alone induced a much
smaller relaxation than G alone or DG. G alone also suppressed phasic amplitude but not phasic frequency while DG suppressed both
parameters. D and G acted synergistically to yield the observed effects on detrusor smooth muscle. The findings showed that the DG
formulation were able to relax the detrusor as well as suppress phasic contractions, both actions important in maintaining normal
bladder filling and urine storage processes. Hence DG may have new application in the management of bladder disorders.
Keywords: Detrusor smooth muscle, contractility, danshen, gegen, Chinese medicine
Address all correspondence to:
Dr. Ping Chung Leung
E205 Science Centre East Block
Institute of Chinese Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin
New Territories, Hong Kong, China.