Methanol fractionations of Catha edulis frosk (Celastraceae) contracted lewis rat aorta in vitro: a comparison between crimson and green leaves

  • S Mahmood
  • D Pavlovic
  • U Hoffmann
Keywords: Catha edulis, aorta contraction, rat, cathinone.


The study investigated the effect of methanol extract and its fractionations obtained from Yemeni khat on the smooth muscle isometric tension in Lewis rat aortal ring preparations and compared the effects of the crimson and green leaves. Khat leaves were sorted into green (khat Light; KL) and crimson (khat Dark; KD) leaves, extracted with methanol, followed with solvent-solvent extraction (benzene, chloroform and ethylacetate). The contractile activity of the fractions was tested using aortal ring preparations. The control (phenylepherine contraction) methanol extracts contracted aortas at concentrations 250, 125 and 67.5 μg /1 ml buffer by 80.2% , 57.3%, 26.4% and 81.5%, 65.6% , 24.6% for KL and KD, respectively. Fractions of benzene (BF) and ethylacetate (EaF) contracted the aorta with 2μgm, whereas, chloroform (ChF) with 1 μgm / 1 ml buffer was less potent. The shape of contraction curve produced by EaF differed from that of ChF and BF of both (KL and KD). The EaF induced-contraction peaked after 3.3 ± 0.94 mins, whereas those of BF and CHF peaked after 18.0 ± 2.2, 19.7 ± 0.94 mins, respectively. Pre-incubation with nifedipine (10-6 M) insignificantly reduced the contraction induced by all fractionations, but prazosin (10-6 M) reduced the contraction by 81.9%, 63.1%, 71.8% with p= 0.23, 0.09, 0.15 for BF, ChF and EaF of KL, respectively. It significantly reduced contraction of ChF, 64.1%; p= 0.02, and of EaF, 73.5%; p= 0.04 of KD, while the reduction in contraction of BF was 63.1%; p= 0.06. In conclusion, fractions of green and crimson Yemeni khat leaves contracted aortas of Lewis rats. Both leaves behave almost similarly. Contraction induced by chloroform fraction produced alphasympathetic activity.

Key words: Catha edulis, aorta contraction, rat, cathinone.


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