Inhibitory effect and underlying mechanism of essential oil of Prangos ferulacea Lindl (L.) on spontaneous and induced uterine contractions in non-pregnant rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2023 Nov:167:115570. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2023.115570. Epub 2023 Sep 25.


Evidence suggests the use of natural compounds as support in the management of uterine contractility disorders. We recently demonstrated that the essential oil of Apiacea Prangos ferulacea (L.) (Prangoil) modulates intestinal smooth muscle contractility. Thus, we aimed to evaluate if Prangoil could also affect the contractility of uterine muscle in non-pregnant rat and to investigate the related action mechanism/s. The effects of the aromatic monoterpenes, β-ocimene and carvacrol, constituents of Prangoil, were also evaluated. Spontaneous contractions and contraction-induced by K+-depolarization and oxytocin in rat uterus were recorded in vitro, using organ bath technique. Prangoil reduced the amplitude of spontaneous contractions as well as responses to KCl and oxytocin. β-ocimene and carvacrol matched oil inhibitory effects. Prangoil effects were not affected by nitrergic and adenylyl cyclase inhibitors or non-specific potassium channel blocker, but they were reduced by nifedipine, L-type calcium channel inhibitor, or 2-aminoethoxydiphenylborate (2-APB), membrane-permeant inositol 1,4,5-triphosphate receptor inhibitor. The response to β-ocimene was reduced by nifedipine and by 2-APB (20 μM), whilst carvacrol inhibitory effect was attenuated only by nifedipine. In conclusion, Prangoil, and its components, β-ocimene and carvacrol, reduced spontaneous and KCl or oxytocin-induced contractions of rat myometrium, mainly modulating extracellular Ca2+ influx through L-Type channels and Ca2+ release from the intracellular store. Further studies could contribute to evaluate the potential use of Prangoil against disorders characterized by abnormal uterine contractions.

Keywords: Calcium influx, calcium stores; Prangos ferulacea essential oil; Smooth muscle contractility, rat uterus.