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Open AccessReview

A Review of Endothelium-Dependent and -Independent Vasodilation Induced by Phytochemicals in Isolated Rat Aorta

1
Laboratory of Pharmacology, Center of Micro Bioinnovation (CMBi), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidad de Valparaíso, Valparaíso 2360102, Chile
2
Centro Regional de Estudios en Alimentos Saludables (CREAS), CONICYT-GORE (Proyecto R17A10001), Valparaíso 2362696, Chile
3
Faculty of Chemistry and Biology, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 9160020, Chile
4
Vice Chancellor of Investigation, Development and Innovation, Universidad de Santiago de Chile, Santiago 9160020, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2019, 9(9), 623; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090623
Received: 25 June 2019 / Revised: 17 August 2019 / Accepted: 21 August 2019 / Published: 29 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Physiology)
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, so the investigation of new therapeutic tools is a priority for their prevention and treatment. This review shows the relevant contribution of the isolated rat aorta as an in vitro experimental model to validate the therapeutic potential of phytochemicals, mainly those present in plants traditionally used in folk medicine to relieve hypertension. The results of the assays carried out in this model show that a variety of plant extracts and their isolated compounds produce vasodilation, which may explain their use, especially to treat hypertension.
This review discusses the contribution of the use of the isolated rat aorta (IRA) as a model for the evaluation of extracts and metabolites produced by plants with a vasodilator effect in animals. This model continues to be a valuable approach for the search and development of new phytochemicals consumed as medicinal plants or foods. In most cases, the sources of phytochemicals have been used in folk medicine to treat ailments that include hypertension. In this model, the endothelium is emphasized as a key component that modulates the vessel contractility, and therefore the basal tone and blood pressure. Based on the functional nature of the model, we focused on studies that determined the endothelium-dependent and -independent vasodilatory activity of phytochemicals. We describe the mechanisms that account for aorta contraction and relaxation, and subsequently show the vasoactive effect of a series of phytochemicals acting as vasodilators and its endothelium dependence. We highlight information regarding the cardiovascular benefits of phytochemicals, especially their potential antihypertensive effect. On this basis, we discuss the advantages of the IRA as a predictive model to support the research and development of new drugs that may be of help in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, the number one cause of death worldwide. View Full-Text
Keywords: rat aorta; phytochemical; plant extract; vasodilation; relaxation; endothelium; endothelial cells; vascular smooth muscle cells; vessels rat aorta; phytochemical; plant extract; vasodilation; relaxation; endothelium; endothelial cells; vascular smooth muscle cells; vessels
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MDPI and ACS Style

Knox, M.; Vinet, R.; Fuentes, L.; Morales, B.; Martínez, J.L. A Review of Endothelium-Dependent and -Independent Vasodilation Induced by Phytochemicals in Isolated Rat Aorta. Animals 2019, 9, 623. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090623

AMA Style

Knox M, Vinet R, Fuentes L, Morales B, Martínez JL. A Review of Endothelium-Dependent and -Independent Vasodilation Induced by Phytochemicals in Isolated Rat Aorta. Animals. 2019; 9(9):623. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090623

Chicago/Turabian Style

Knox, Marcela; Vinet, Raúl; Fuentes, Lida; Morales, Bernardo; Martínez, José L. 2019. "A Review of Endothelium-Dependent and -Independent Vasodilation Induced by Phytochemicals in Isolated Rat Aorta" Animals 9, no. 9: 623. https://doi.org/10.3390/ani9090623

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