Author : Sulaiman, S.R.

Renal and vascular studies of aqueous extract of Urtica dioica in rats and rabbits

K.F. Dizaye; B.O. Alberzingi; S.R. Sulaiman

Iraqi Journal of Veterinary Sciences, 2013, Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 25-31
DOI: 10.33899/ijvs.2013.82948

Urtica dioica has a variety of uses in traditional medicine for genitourinary ailments kidney disorders, allergies, diabetes, anemia, gastrointestinal tract ailments, musculoskeletal aches and alopecia. However, only a few of these uses have scientific bases that support their clinical uses. This study was done to evaluate some of the in vivo and in vitro pharmacological actions of this plant. Eighteen local domestic rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) were used for in vitro studies (effect of the plant extract on isolated pulmonary arteries and isolated urinary bladder smooth muscle) and in vivo studies (effect of the extract on renal function). Six male albino rats were used for studying the effects of the plant extract on blood pressure and heart rate. Urtica dioica extract produced a significant increase in urine volume and urinary Na+ excretion without significant changes in K+ excretion rates in experimental rabbits. No changes occurred in Glomerular filtration rate and %Na+ reabsorption of filtered load. Neither vasodilatation nor vasoconstriction of isolated pulmonary arteries of the rabbit was seen after applying the aqueous extract of U. dioica. Besides it could not reverse the vasoconstrictor effect of phenylephrine. Urtica dioica has no detectable effects on the isolated bladder; moreover it did not reverse the contraction that was produced by pilocarpine. In experimental rats, the plant extract produced a profound drop in blood pressure associated with decreased heart rate. In conclusion the aqueous extract of U. dioica produced diuretic and natriuretic effects with out significant effect on the K+ excretion rate in rabbits. Moreover it produced a profound drop in blood pressure and heart rate.