The mechanism of uterine muscle contraction stimulated by a triterpenoid glycoside (dalsaxin) isolated from the root of D. saxatilis was investigated by in vitro methods in the rat. Dalsaxin caused a dose-related increase in uterine muscle contraction. The contraction was single and transient and was abolished by moderate doses of isoprenaline (1.80 nmol-0.40 mumol) and salbutamol (0.13-25 mumol). Adrenaline (9.10 nmol) also caused a reversible decrease (92.6%; P < 0.01) in myometrial contraction stimulated by this glycoside (0.24 mg/ml). Uterine muscle responses to dalsaxin (0.24 mg/ml) were enhanced by the beta-adrenergic receptor antagonist, propranolol, in a dose related manner. Atipamezole (1.50 ng/ml) but not prazosin (7.72 nmol-15.60 nmol) substantially reduced (80%; P < 0.01) myometrial contractions induced by this uterine spasmogen. The results suggest that dalsaxin enhances uterine muscle contraction by stimulating post junctional alpha 2-adrenergic receptors, presumably by inhibiting plasma membrane adenylate cyclase system and its associated increase in intracellular cAMP content.
Indian journal of experimental biology 05/1999; 37(4):350-4.