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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A non-opioid mechanism in the inhibitory effect of ginseng saponins on electrically evoked contractions of guinea-pig ileum and mouse vas deferens.

Both ginseng total saponins (GTS) and one of its constituents, protopanaxatriol saponins (PT), inhibited the electrically evoked contractions of guinea-pig ileum ( GPI) in a concentration dependent manner in a range of 1-100 micrograms/ml, and this effect was irreversible at high concentrations of the saponins. Protopanaxadiol saponins (PD) had a transient and weak effect. On the other hand, in mouse vas deferens (MVD), the contractions were increased by PT and PD, however, GTS was almost without effect. The inhibitory effect of morphine was arithmetically increased by pretreatment with 100 micrograms/ml of these saponins in GPI preparations, while the inhibitory effect of the contractions was potentiated in MVD preparations. Neither the inhibition of contractions in the GPI preparation nor the facilitation of contractions in the MVD preparation by these ginseng saponins was reversed by 1 microM naloxone, in contrast to naloxone antagonism of morphine-induced contractions in both preparations. GTS and PT caused a dose-dependent inhibition of BaCl2-induced contraction of GPI. It is concluded that the mechanism on the inhibitory or facilitated effect of ginseng saponins on electrically evoked contractions in GPI and MVD preparations may be separated from the effect of opioids, and the mechanism may be based on the direct action of the saponins on smooth muscles preparations.[1]


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