Passiflora, oleanane triterpenes, saponins, aortic rings, vasoconstriction, antihypertensive


Background: Passiflora quadrangularis L. has antihypertensive and anxiolytic properties observed in experimental models. Objectives: The aim of this work was to establish the vascular effects exerted by two known monodesmosidic triterpene saponins, 3-O-β-D-glucopyranosyloleanolic acid (Compound 1) (not previously described for this plant) and, 3-O-[β-D-glucopyranosyl-(1→2)-β-D-glucopyranosyl] oleanolic acid (Compound 2), isolated from the ethanolic extract of Passiflora quadrangularis L. leaves. Methods: The structural elucidation was achieved by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) experiments and High-Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS). Aortic rings from Wistar rats, previously stimulated with phenylephrine (PE, 1µM) and washed, were exposed to cumulatively concentrations of compound 1 and compound 2 (10 to 400 µM). Ethanolic extract from leaves of P. quadrangularis L. (10 to 320 µg/mL) and clonidine (1nM to 100µM) were also used for comparison. Concentration-response curves of compounds 1 and 2 were examined in presence and absence of: endothelium, the alpha-2 antagonist yohimbine (1 and 100 µM), the alpha non-selective antagonist phentolamine (1µM), the alpha-1 antagonist prazosin (1µM) and the calcium channel blocker verapamil (10 and 100 µM). In addition, a cumulative response curve of acetylcholine (ACh, 10nM to 10µM) and sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 1nM to 100µM) were assayed in rings precontracted with compounds 1 and 2 (400 µM). Results: Compounds 1 and 2 elicited a vasoconstriction response in intact aorta rings in a similar way (pEC50: 3.92±0.01 and 4.09±0.01, respectively), the effect that did not change in denuded rings (pEC50: 3.90±0.01 and 4.11±0.01). The potency order (pEC50) of compounds 1 and 2 decreased according to the following: verapamil (3.53±0.01 and 3.90±0.02; p<0.05) < yohimbine (3.65±0.01 and 3.94±0.02; p<0.05) < prazosin (3.86±0.01 and 4.30±0.02) < phentolamine (4.05±0.02 and 4.05±0.01). SNP but not ACh, was able to decrease the vasopressor effect of compounds 1 and 2 (pIC50: 8.61±0.01 and 8.24 ± 0.15, respectively). Conclusions: Compounds 1 and are key metabolites responsible for the ex vivo vasoconstrictor response induced by P. quadrangularis L. Activation of voltage-dependent calcium channels and/or α2-adrenergic receptors stimulation could be mechanisms implicated.

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Author Biographies

Mario Francisco Guerrero Pabón, National University of Colombia,

Pharmacology Area, Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Sciences.

Lesly L Bareño, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Sede Bogotá

Pharmacology Section, Pharmacy Department, Faculty of Sciences.

Pilar Puebla, University of Salamanca

Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain.

Arturo San Feliciano, Universidad de Salamanca

Pharmaceutical Sciences Department, Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad de Salamanca, Salamanca, Spain


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How to Cite

Guerrero Pabón, M. F., Bareño, L. L., Puebla, P., & San Feliciano, A. (2020). VASCULAR MECHANISMS OF TRITERPENOID SAPONINS ISOLATED FROM Passiflora quadrangularis L. Vitae, 27(2).



Pharmacology and Toxicology

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