Mechanisms of relaxant action of S-petasin and S-isopetasin, sesquiterpenes of Petasites formosanus, in isolated guinea pig trachea

W. C. Ko, C. B. Lei, Y. L. Lin, C. F. Chen

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43 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated the mechanisms of action of S-petasin and S-isopetasin, from Petasites formosanus Kitamura which is used as a folk medicine for treating hypertension, tumors, and asthma in Taiwan. The tension changes of tracheal segments were isometrically recorded on a polygraph. S-Petasin and S-isopetasin non-competitively inhibited cumulative histamine-, and carbachol-induced contractions with an exception that S-isopetasin produced a parallel, rightward shift of the concentration-response curve of carbachol in a competitive manner. S-Petasin also non-competitively inhibited cumulative Ca2+-induced contractions in depolarized (K+, 60 mM; histamine, 100 μM; or carbachol, 10 μM) guinea-pig tracheas. S-Isopetasin did in depolarized (K+, 60 mM) trachea too. The nifedipine (10 μM)-remaining tension of carbachol (0.2 μM)-induced precontraction was further relaxed by S-petasin or S-isopetasin, suggesting that no matter whether either blocked. VDCCs or not, S-petasin or S-isopetasin may have other mechanisms of relaxant action. The relaxant effect of S-petasin or S-isopetasin was unaffected by the presence of propranolol (1 μM), 2′,5′-dideoxyadenosine (10 μM), methylene blue (25 μM), glibenclamide (10 μM), Nω-nitro-L-arginine (20 μM), or α-chymotrypsin (1 U/ml). However, S-petasin (100-300 μM), but not S-isopetasin, significantly inhibited cAMP-, but not cGMP-dependent PDE activity of the trachealis. The above results reveal that the mechanisms of relaxant action of S-petasin and S-isopetasin may be primarily due to its non-specific antispasmodic and antimuscarinic effects, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalPlanta Medica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Asteraceae
  • Calcium influx
  • Calcium release
  • cAMP-dependent PDE
  • Guinea-pig trachea
  • Petasites formosanus
  • S-isopetasin
  • S-Petasin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science
  • Drug Discovery
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pharmacology


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