2015 Volume 38 Issue 12 Pages 1873-1878
Wogonin, a natural flavonoid, is one of the bioactive compounds of the medicinal herb Eucommia ulmoides OLIV. widely used in southeastern Asia for treating hypertension. However, the molecular mechanisms for the therapeutic benefits remain largely unclear. The present study investigated the vasodilatory effect of wogonin and its possible mechanisms. The flavonoid (0.1–100 µM) caused concentration-dependent relaxations in endothelium-intact aortic rings precontracted with norepinephrine (NE, 1 µM) or potassium chloride (KCl, 60 mM). Preincubation with wogonin (10, 100 µM) for 20 min significantly inhibited the contractile responses to NE (0.1, 1, 10 µM) or KCl (7.5, 15, 30, 60 mM). Relaxant responses to wogonin were not inhibited by NG-nitro-L-arginine methylester (100 µM) or endothelial denudation. In a Ca2+-free Krebs’ solution, wogonin not only blocked Ca2+ influx-dependent vasoconstriction by either NE (1 µM) or KCl (100 mM), but also inhibited NE (1 µM)-induced tonic contraction, which is dependent on intracellular Ca2+ release. Wogonin also suppressed the elevation of [Ca2+]i induced by KCl (60 mM) after exhausting the calcium store in sarcoplasmic and endoplasmic reticula with thapsigargin (1 µM) or by ATP (100 µM) in primary vascular smooth muscle cells. These findings suggest that wogonin-induced responses are mainly due to the inhibition of both intracellular Ca2+ release and extracellular Ca2+ influx.