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Inhibition of the mechanical activity of mouse ileum by cactus pear (Opuntia Ficus Indica, L, Mill.) fruit extract and its pigment indicaxanthin.

  • Autori: Baldassano, S; Tesoriere, L; Rotondo, A; Serio, R; Livrea, MA; Mulè, F
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2010
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: opuntia ficus indica; indicaxanthin; intestinal smooth muscle; antispasmodic effect
  • OA Link:


We investigated, using an organ bath technique, the effects of a hydrophilic extract from Opuntia ficus indica fruit pulp (cactus fruit extract, CFE) on the motility of mouse ileum, and researched the extract component(s) responsible for the observed responses. CFE (10-320 mg of fresh fruit pulp equivalents/mL of organ bath) reduced dose-dependently the spontaneous contractions. This effect was unaffected by tetrodotoxin, a neuronal blocker, Nω-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, a nitric oxide synthase blocker, tetraethylammonium, a potassium channel blocker, or atropine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist. CFE also reduced the contractions evoked by carbachol, without affecting the contractions evoked by high extracellular potassium. Indicaxanthin, but not ascorbic acid, assayed at concentrations comparable with their content in CFE, mimicked the CFE effects. The data show that CFE is able to exert direct antispasmodic effects on the intestinal motility. The CFE inhibitory effects do not involve potassium channels or voltage-dependent calcium channels but rather pathways of calcium intracellular release. The fruit pigment indicaxanthin appears to be the main component responsible for the CFE-induced effects.