Original Research

Modulation of ex-vivo uterine contraction by the methanol leaf extract of Alchornea laxiflora Benth. (Euphorbiaceae) and preliminary spectrometric identification of associated secondary metabolites

Enitome E. Bafor, Juliet K. Nwogu, Uloma B. Elvis-Offiah, Fabian Amaechina, Josephine Ofeimun, Buniyamin Ayinde, Osemelomen Omoruyi, Christina Viegelmann, RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel
Journal of Medicinal Plants for Economic Development | Vol 2, No 1 | a33 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jomped.v2i1.33 | © 2018 Enitome E. Bafor, Juliet K. Nwogu, Uloma B. Elvis-Offiah, Fabian Amaechina, Josephine Ofeimun, Buniyamin Ayinde, Osemelomen Omoruyi, Christina Viegelmann, RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 04 September 2017 | Published: 06 June 2018

About the author(s)

Enitome E. Bafor, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria
Juliet K. Nwogu, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria
Uloma B. Elvis-Offiah, Department of Science and Laboratory Technology, University of Benin, Nigeria
Fabian Amaechina, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria
Josephine Ofeimun, Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Benin, Nigeria
Buniyamin Ayinde, Department of Pharmacognosy, University of Benin, Nigeria
Osemelomen Omoruyi, Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Benin, Nigeria
Christina Viegelmann, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom
RuAngelie Edrada-Ebel, Strathclyde Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, University of Strathclyde, United Kingdom


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Abstract

Background: The leaves of Alchornea laxiflora are traditionally used in the south of Nigeria to prevent preterm births.

 

Aim: This study was designed to investigate the activity of A. laxiflora on uterine contractility.

 

Setting: The leaves of the plant were collected from forests in Egor, Benin City, Nigeria.

 

Methods: The leaves were cleaned and extracted in methanol. The extract (0.005 mg/mL–3.5 mg/mL) was tested on spontaneous uterine contraction and on oxytocin-induced contraction in normal and Ca2+-free media. The plant extract (0.0035 mg/mL, 0.035 mg/mL, 0.35 mg/mL and 3.5 mg/mL) was tested on high KCl-induced uterine contractions (80 mM). The plant extract (3.5 mg/mL) was also studied in the presence of amiodarone and glibenclamide in separate experiments. Mass spectrometric analysis was additionally performed on the plant extract in order to identify significant secondary metabolites that may have contributed to the activity of the plant.

 

Results: The plant extract inhibited spontaneous, oxytocin and high KCl-induced uterine contractions and also significantly inhibited (p < 0.01) oxytocin-induced uterine contraction in Ca2+-free medium. The plant extract significantly inhibited (p < 0.01 and p < 0.05) oxytocin’s amplitude in the presence of amiodarone and glibenclamide, respectively. Secondary metabolites belonging to classes of fatty acids, glycols, terpenes, flavonoid glycosides and porphyrins were identified.

 

Conclusion: Alchornea laxiflora inhibited mouse uterine contractility possibly through interaction with potassium and calcium channels. Of the known metabolites identified, 3-deoxy-arabino-hept-2-ulosonic acid, 17-hydroxyingenol and phaeophorbide-a methyl inhibit uterine contractility and may contribute to the activity of A. laxiflora in utero.


Keywords

Alchornea laxiflora; Uterus; Spontaneous uterine contraction; Oxytocin; Phaeophorbide

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