Planta Med 2008; 74(3): 233-238
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1034310
Original Paper
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Cardiovascular Effects of Lignans Isolated from Saururus chinensis

Kwang-Seok Oh1 , Yeon Hee Choi1 , Shi Yong Ryu1 , Byung Koo Oh1 , Ho Won Seo1 , Gyu Hwan Yon1 , Young Sup Kim1 , Byung Ho Lee1
  • 1Drug Discovery Division, Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology, Daejeon, Korea
Further Information

Publication History

Received: August 19, 2007 Revised: January 11, 2008

Accepted: January 15, 2008

Publication Date:
18 February 2008 (online)


Saururus chinensis has been widely used as a traditional medicine for the treatment of beriberi, hypertension, pneumonia, edema, jaundice and gonorrhea. However, there is only limited information on the cardiovascular effects of S. chinensis extract or its single compounds. The present study was performed to investigate the effects of active lignans isolated from the extract of S. chinensis on vascular responses and heart functions. The vasorelaxant activity-guided fractionation of roots extract of S. chinensis led to the isolation of eight lignans as active principles. These lignans produced concentration-dependent relaxations of the endothelium-intact aortic preparations of rat aorta. Particularly, saucerneol (1), saucerneol D (2) and machilin D (8) exhibited distinctive vasorelaxant activity (EC50 values: 2.2, 12.7 and 17.8 μM, respectively), which were significantly inhibited by removal of functional endothelium or pretreatment with N G-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester. Saucerneol (1) and saucerneol D (2) caused a significant decrease in left ventricular pressure, +dP/dtmax and heart rate in isolated hearts. These results suggest that several lignans including saucerneol (1), saucerneol D (2) and machilin D (8), isolated from the ethanol extract of the roots of S. chinensis, have significant cardiovascular effects such as vasorelaxant and negative inotropic actions.


CFR:coronary flow rate

HR:heart rate

L-NAME:N G-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester

LVDP:left ventricular developed pressure

S. chinensis:Saururus chinensis

S. D. rats:Sprague-Dawley rats


Byung Ho Lee, PhD

Drug Discovery Division

Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology

100 Jangdong


Daejeon 305-343

Republic of Korea

Phone: +82-42-860-7415

Fax: +82-42-861-4246