Background: The smooth muscle contractions of the tracheobronchial airways are mediated through the balance of adrenergic, cholinergic and peptidergic nervous mechanisms. This research was designed to determine the bronchodilatory and B-adrenergic effects of methanolic and aqueous extracts of root Althaea on the isolated tracheobronchial smooth muscle of the rat.
Materials and methods: In this experimental study, 116 tracheobronchial sections (5 mm) from 58 healthy male Sprague-Dawley rats were dissected and divided into 23 groups. The effect of methanolic and aqueous extracts of the root Althaea was assayed at different concentrations (0.2, 0.6, 2.6, 6.6, 14.6 μg/ml) and epinephrine (5 μm) in the presence and absence of propranolol (1 μM) under one g tension based on the isometric method. This assay was recorded in an organ bath containing Krebs-Henseleit solution for tracheobronchial smooth muscle contractions using potassium chloride (KCl) (60 mM) induction.
Results: Epinephrine (5 μm) alone and root methanolic and aqueous extract concentrations (0.6-14.6 μg/ml) reduced tracheobronchial smooth muscle contractions induced using KCl (60 mM) in a dose dependent manner. Propranolol inhibited the antispasmodic effect of epinephrine on tracheobronchial smooth muscle contractions, but could not reduce the antispasmodic effect of the root extract concentrations.
Conclusion: The methanolic and aqueous extracts of Althaea root inhibited the tracheobronchial smooth muscle contractions of rats in a dose dependent manner, but B-adrenergic receptors do not appear to engage in this process. Understanding the mechanism of this process can be useful in the treatment of pulmonary obstructive diseases like asthma.
Keywords: Adrenergic; Althaea root; bronchodilator; methanolic and aqueous extracts; tracheobronchial muscle.