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

A newly isolated antispasmodic--butylidenephthalide.

Butylidenephthalide (BdPh), ligustilide and butylphthalide were isolated and purified from neutral oil of Ligusticum wallichii Franch. Among these three, BdPh proved to be the most active in inhibiting rat uterine contractions induced by prostaglandin F2 alpha, oxytocin and ACh. In studies done to compare the effects of BdPh and papaverine (Pap), guinea pig ileum, vas deferens and taenia coli were used. BdPh inhibited contractile responses of the ileum to agonists including ACh, K+ and Ba2+ in normal Tyrode solution and to exogenous Ca2+ in high K+ (80 mM), Ca2+-free Tyrode solution, and also responses of vas deferens responses to norepinephrine. Thus, BdPh is a non-specific antispasmodic but weaker in potency than Pap. However, as the inhibitory effects of BdPh on phasic contraction (PC) and tonic contraction (TC) of preparations, including depolarized and non-depolarized ileum and taenia coli, were much the same, it is suggested that the action mechanism of BdPh may differ from that of Pap which inhibited TC more selectively than PC. It may be concluded that BdPh possesses an non-specific antispasmodic action like Pap, the mechanism of action being different from that of Pap.[1]


  1. A newly isolated antispasmodic--butylidenephthalide. Ko, W.C. Jpn. J. Pharmacol. (1980) [Pubmed]
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