Vasodilator Compounds Derived from Plants and Their Mechanisms of Action

Luna-Vázquez, Francisco J.; Ibarra-Alvarado, César; Rojas-Molina, Alejandra; Rojas-Molina, Isela; Zavala-Sánchez, Miguel Ángel
May 2013
Molecules;May2013, Vol. 18 Issue 5, p5814
Academic Journal
The present paper reviews vasodilator compounds isolated from plants that were reported in the past 22 years (1990 to 2012) and the different mechanisms of action involved in their vasodilator effects. The search for reports was conducted in a comprehensive manner, intending to encompass those metabolites with a vasodilator effect whose mechanism of action involved both vascular endothelium and arterial smooth muscle. The results obtained from our bibliographic search showed that over half of the isolated compounds have a mechanism of action involving the endothelium. Most of these bioactive metabolites cause vasodilation either by activating the nitric oxide/cGMP pathway or by blocking voltage-dependent calcium channels. Moreover, it was found that many compounds induced vasodilation by more than one mechanism. This review confirms that secondary metabolites, which include a significant group of compounds with extensive chemical diversity, are a valuable source of new pharmaceuticals useful for the treatment and prevention of cardiovascular diseases.


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