Background: Moringa oleifera is extensively distributed and used in many countries all over the world. The seed of Moringa oleifera is a high value part and has an amazing medicinal and therapeutic uses with high nutritional value, this study, therefore, was designed to clarify the pharmacological effects of hydroethanolic seed extract of Moringa oleifera (HSMO) on isolated intestinal and uterine motility with a view to finding out the site of actions of Moringa oleifera (MO).
Methods: Tension recording technique was used for studying the effect of Moringa oleifera seeds extract on isolated rabbit's duodenum, guinea pig's ileum, rat's colon and uterus. An intestinal segment about 2 cm long from rabbit's duodenum, guinea pig's ileum and rat's colon were firmed in an organ bath containing warm oxygenated Tyrode’s solution. Female rats at various stage of sex cycle were used, their uteri were dissected out and one uterine horn was fixed in an organ bath containing warm oxygenated Dal's solution. The tissue was subjected to a resting tension of 1g.
Results: Results obtained showed that HSMO, in vitro, produced a concentrations dependent relaxation of intestinal muscle. The minimal effect of MO was observed at concentration of 4 μg/ml bath that produced 6.3% inhibition of duodenum contractility.
Complete relaxation of duodenum smooth muscle was established after the addition of MO at concentration of 512 μg/ml bath. While in isolated guinea pig's ileum and rat's colon, complete inhibition was established after the addition of MO at concentration of 256 μg/ml bath. HSMO inhibited the contractility of rat's uterus during nonpregnant and pregnant stages. Complete relaxation was attained by addition of 256 μg of MO extract /ml bath. The inhibitory action of MO could be attributed to, at least partly, its action on muscarinic receptors, indicated by decreasing stimulant effect of Ach. The phytochemical screening of Moringa oleifera seeds in our investigation indicated the presence of flavonoids and tannins and these components play a key role in spasmolytic activity by blocking muscarinic receptors.
Conclusions: It could be concluded that, Mo may have a depressant effect on intestinal and uterine muscles via muscarinic cholinergic pathway. These data may support the effective and safe use of MO in gastrointestinal disorders and pregnancy and these finding seem to explain its traditional use on the management of intestinal ailments such as pains, diarrhea and dysentery.
Keywords:Moringa oleifera, Smooth muscle, Spasmolytic activity, Autonomic pharmacology.