Herbs have many biologically and pharmacologically active compounds such as flavonoids and stilbenes. They have been used in remedies for various disorders. Here we review the effects of herbs on catecholamine synthesis and secretion in cultured bovine adrenal medullary cells. Ikarisoside A (1.0–100 μM), a flavonol glycoside, inhibited the catecholamine secretion induced by acetylcholine (0.3 mM). This inhibition was associated with the suppression of 22Na+ and 45Ca2+ influx induced by acetylcholine. The ethanol extract (0.0003–0.005%) of matsufushi (extract of pine nodules) inhibited the catecholamine secretion induced by acetylcholine. SJ-2, one of the stilbene compounds isolated from matsufushi, inhibited acetylcholine-induced catecholamine secretion. Matsufushi extract and SJ-2 reversibly inhibited acetylcholine-induced Na+ currents in Xenopus oocytes expressed with α3β4nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. Sweet tea is the processed leaves of Hydrangea macrophylla. The extract of sweet tea (0.3–1.0 mg/ml) suppressed catecholamine secretion induced by acetylcholine (0.3 mM). Moreover, sweet tea (0.1–1.0 mg/ml), ikarisoside A (1.0–100 μM), and matsufushi (0.001–0.003%) or SJ-2 (10–30 μM) inhibited acetylcholine-induced 14C-catecholamine synthesis from 14C-tyrosine. These findings indicate that ikarisoside A, matsufushi (or SJ-2), and sweet tea inhibit the catecholamine secretion and synthesis induced by acetylcholine in cultured bovine adrenal medullary cells and probably in sympathetic neurons.
Part of the book: Biogenic Amines in Neurotransmission and Human Disease