Evaluation of contractile activity of the extracts of Gynandropsis gynandra Linn on isolated rabbit uterus and ileum
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Diarrhea due to exaggerated GIT motility and maternal death due to delayed labor remain serious health challenges; and among the leading causes of mortality globally especially among children and pregnant mothers respectively. Traditional healers such as traditional birth attendants (TBAs) use medicinal plants and have continued to play a role in aiding child birth among pregnant women and management of diarrhea in various communities of the world, most especially in poor resource communities like Uganda. Various medicinal plants such as Gynandropsis gynandra have long been used by the TBAs and local communities worldwide including in Uganda as an alternative in aiding child birth and in management of diarrhea with limited scientific information. This study was aimed at evaluating and comparing the aqueous and total crude extracts of root and aerial parts of G. gynandra on the contractility of isolated ileum and uterus of a rabbit. An experimental laboratory-based study was carried out on the aerial and root aqueous extracts and total crude extracts of G. gynandra to determine their contractile activity on rabbit uterus and ileum smooth muscles using organ bath experiment. Ileum and uterine contractility was determined by measuring the peak height response on the kymograph. The findings showed that, the roots extracts (root aqueous and root total crude) produced significantly higher contractile response (RA=1.6 cm on the ileum) than the aerial extracts (aerial aqueous and aerial total crude) of G. gynandra on the ileum and uterus with RA>AA and RT>AT, P<0.05. The aqueous extracts also produced significantly greater response than the total crude extracts as demonstrated by response of the RA>RT and AA>AT, P<0.05. The higher doses of both the extracts and control produced significantly higher response than the lower doses (15>10> 5> 2.5 mg/ml), P<0.05, thus contractility of the ileum and uterus was dose-dependent. Smaller doses of the positive controls also produced significantly higher response than higher doses of the extracts. From this study, both root and aerial extracts of G. gynandra displayed contractile activity on isolated ileum and the uterine smooth muscles of the rabbit, with the root extract producing greater contractile activity. This confirmed the use of the plant in African ethnopharmacology for induction of labor, management of diarrhea and other conditions by local communities and traditional birth attendants in Uganda.