The effect of the Aqueous Extract from the leaves of Erythrina vellutina (AE) on rat vas deferens preparation was evaluated in this work. The AE inhibited the muscle contractions induced by electrical field stimulation (EFS) in a concentration-dependent manner. This inhibition was not affected by atropine (10-5M), propanolol (10-5M), prazosin (10-5M) or yohimbine (10-5M), suggesting that there is no direct interaction of the AE with cholinergic nor adrenergic receptors. Incubation of vas deferens with the K+ channel antagonists, tetraethylamonium (10-6M) or 4-aminopyridine (10-6M) had also no effect on the AE-induced inhibition. On the other hand, glibenclamide (10-6) significantly attenuated the effect of the AE, suggesting a possible involvement of ATP-dependent K+ channels. The AE (0.15 mg/mL) did not alter the contractions induced by noradrenaline (10-5M), ATP (10-4M) nor KCl (80 mM), against an interaction of the extract with post-synaptic sites. The data presented suggests that the inhibition of the electrically driven muscle twitches by the AE could be due to a pre-synaptic interaction of the extract with ATP-dependent K+ channels from vas deferens sympathetic neurons.
Erythrina vellutina; rat vas deferens; ATP-dependent K+ channel