Effect of portulaca olearecea and its interaction with vecuronium on neuromuscular junction in experimental animals

Anjali Tarai, P. Ansuman Abhisek, S. N. Pandey


Background: The extracts from the plant Portulaca oleracrea have been mentioned to have muscle relaxant properties in traditional medicine literatures and used as a food supplement. The site of therapeutic action is directly on muscle fibres rather than neuromuscular transmission.The muscle relaxant property is found to be similar with dantrolene in frog rectus abdominis .So objectives of our study to analyze the effect of Portulaca oleracea and its interaction with vecuronium on the neuromuscular junction in experimental animal.

Methods: The study was conducted in two parts i.e. study 1 and study 2. In study 1:2 ml and 4 ml Portulaca oleracea fresh aqueous leave juice was given orally to 12 number rabbits and vecuronium 5 microgram/ml was given intravenously to all 6 rats through marginal ear vein with the help of scalp vein attached with 10 ml syringe. The head drop time is recorded and reversal of neuromuscular blockade was done with neostigmine (0.25 mg/kg) along with atropine (2 mg). Study 2: 2 ml and 4 ml of Portulaca oleracea fresh aqueous leave juice was tested on frog's isolated rectus abdominis muscle in Dales’s isolated organ bath and its interaction with vecuronium (1 mmole-32 mmole) was recorded.

Results: Portulaca oleracea has muscle relaxant properties, which was recorded which was indicated by decreasing the time of head drop and complete block in study 1. In study 2, it also decreased the Ach induced contraction in presence of vecuronium.

Conclusions: The results indicate the muscle relaxant properties fresh juice of Portulac Oleracea probably due to high content of potassium.


Portulaca oleracea, Vecuronium, Neuromuscular junction, Muscle relaxation

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