Background In the search of safe and effective lead molecules from natural sources, Mucuna pruriens (MP) L. (Fabaceae) seeds were utilized for exploring the antihypertensive potential. Traditionally, it is used as diuretic and hypotensive. Methods Bioassay-guided fractions were utilized for the isolation of active compounds by column chromatography. IC50 value, enzyme kinetics and inhibition mechanism were determined. In vivo time and dose-dependent hypotensive study followed by changes in mean arterial pressure (MAP) induced by angiotensin I (3 nmol/kg), angiotensin II (3 nmol/kg), and bradykinin (10 nmol/kg) in anesthetized rats was done. Plasma and tissue angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) activities were also determined. Results Phytochemical analysis by spectroscopic techniques revealed the presence of known compounds like genistein, ursolic acid and L-DOPA from the ethyl acetate and water fraction, respectively. In vitro study revealed MP ethyl acetate (MPEA) fraction and genistein as the most active fraction (IC50 156.45 µg/mL) and compound (IC50 253.81 µM), respectively. Lineweaver-Burk plots revealed a non-competitive mode of inhibition. ACE protein precipitation was the suggested mechanism for inhibition. The extract showed a time- and dose-dependent decrease in MAP. Genistein was able to dose-dependently reduce the MAP, up to 53±1.5 mmHg (40 mg/kg, i.v.). As compared to control, it showed a dose-dependent decrease in plasma ACE activity of 40.61 % and 54.76 % at 10 mg/kg and 20 mg/kg, respectively. It also decreased the ACE activity in the aorta (107.67nM/ml min at 10 mg, p<0.001; 95.33nM/ml min at 20 mg p<0.001). Captopril was used as a standard for various in vitro and in vivo assays. Conclusions The study revealed the antihypertensive potential of MP seed compounds via ACE inhibition.
Keywords: Mucuna pruriens; ACE inhibition; antihypertensive.