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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 63  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 204-210

Tocolytic effect of the monoterpenic phenol isomer, carvacrol, on the pregnant rat uterus


1 Department of Pharmacology, Academic Area of Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, México
2 Department of Geriatrics, Academic Area of Gerontology, Institute of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, México

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mario I Ortiz
Department of Pharmacology, Academic Area of Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, Eliseo Ramirez Ulloa 400, Doctores, 42090, Pachuca, Hidalgo
México
Dr. Victor Manuel Munoz-Perez
Department of Pharmacology, Academic Area of Medicine, Institute of Health Sciences, Autonomous University of the State of Hidalgo, Eliseo Ramirez Ulloa 400, Doctores Pachuca, 42090, Hidalgo
México
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Source of Support: This work was financially supported by the Perfíl Deseable del Programa para el Desarrollo Profesional Docente (PRODEP): No. 244033-PRODEP-SEP, Mexico., Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/CJP.CJP_56_20

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Despite the wide application of carvacrol (CAR) in different biological and medical areas, there is still insufficient electrophysiological data on the mechanisms of action of CAR, particularly in the pregnant uterine function. The aim of this study was to evaluate the in vitro tocolytic effect of CAR on the contractility of isolated pregnant rat uterus in the presence of a calcium channel antagonist (nifedipine) and a cyclooxygenase inhibitor (indomethacin). The uteri were isolated from pregnant Wistar rats at 16–18 days of pregnancy and suspended in an isolated organ bath chamber containing a Ringer's physiological solution and aerated with 95% O2 and 5% CO2. Samples were used in functional tests to evaluate the inhibitory effect of CAR at increasing concentrations on the rhythmic spontaneous, oxytocin-induced phasic, K+-induced tonic, and Ca2+-induced contractions. The differences in inhibitory concentration-50 and Emax among the compounds were determined using the one-way ANOVA followed by a post hoc Student-Newman-Keuls or Bonferroni test, in all cases P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Nifedipine was used as positive controls where required. CAR caused a significant concentration-dependent inhibition of the uterine contractions induced by the pharmaco- and electro-mechanic stimuli. We showed that the inhibitory effects of CAR depends on the type of muscle contraction stimuli, and that it acts stronger in spontaneous rhythmic activity and in contractions of isolated rat uterus induced by Ca2+. Nifedipine was more potent than CAR and indomethacin on the uterine contractility (P < 0.05), but none of them was more effective than nifedipine. Therefore, the tocolytic effect induced by CAR was associated with the blockade of the calcium channels in the pregnant rat uterus. This property placed CAR as a potentially safe and effective adjuvant agent in cases of preterm labor, an area of pharmacological treatment that requires urgent improvement.


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