Aristolochia ringens Vahl. (Aristolochiaceae (AR); mǎ dōu líng) is used traditionally in Nigeria for the management of various disorders including oedema. Preliminary investigation revealed its modulatory effect on the cardiovascular system. This study was aimed at investigating the effect of the aqueous root extract of A. ringens (AR) on haemodynamic parameters of spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs). The effect of oral subacute (21 days) and intravenous acute exposure of SHRs to the extract were assessed using tail cuff and carotid artery canulation methods respectively. In the latter, the effect of chloroform, butanol and aqueous fractions of AR were also evaluated. The extract significantly reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressures in SHRs, with peak reductions of 20.3% and 26.7% respectively at 50 mg/kg by the 21st day of oral subacute exposure. Upon intravenous exposure, AR (50 mg/kg) reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure by as much as 53.4 ± 2.2 and 49.2 ± 2.8 mmHg respectively. A dose-dependent reduction in heart rate, significant at 25 and 50 mg/kg was also observed. Hexamethonium (20 mg/kg) and atropine (1 mg/kg) inhibited the extract's reduction of systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure and heart rate significantly. The extract's butanol fraction produced the greatest systolic and diastolic blood pressures reduction of 67.0 ± 3.8 and 68.4 mmHg respectively at 25 mg/kg and heart rate reduction of 40 ± 7 beats per minute at 50 mg/kg. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of 4-hydroxybenzoic acid and quercetin in AR. The extract's alterations of haemodynamic parameters in this study show that it has hypotensive effect on spontaneously hypertensive rats.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.