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A hydroalcoholic extract of Senecio nutans SCh. Bip (Asteraceae); its effects on cardiac function and chemical characterization

Palacios, Javier; Paredes, Adrián; Cifuentes, Fredi; Catalan, MA; Garcia-Villalon, AL; Borquez, Jorge; Simirgiotis, MJ; Jones, Matthew; Foster, Amy; Greensmith, DJ

A hydroalcoholic extract of Senecio nutans SCh. Bip (Asteraceae); its effects on cardiac function and chemical characterization Thumbnail


Javier Palacios

Adrián Paredes

Fredi Cifuentes

MA Catalan

AL Garcia-Villalon

Jorge Borquez

MJ Simirgiotis

Amy Foster


Ethnopharmacology relevance
The plant Senecio nutans SCh. Bip. is used by Andean communities to treat altitude sickness. Recent evidence suggests it may produce vasodilation and negative cardiac inotropy, though the cellular mechanisms have not been elucidated.

To determinate the mechanisms action of S. nutans on cardiovascular function in normotensive animals.

The effect of the extract on rat blood pressure was measured with a transducer in the carotid artery and intraventricular pressure by a Langendorff system. The effects on sheep ventricular intracellular calcium handling and contractility were evaluated using photometry. Ultra-high-performance liquid-chromatography with diode array detection coupled with heated electrospray-ionization quadrupole-orbitrap mass spectrometric detection (UHPLC-DAD-ESI-Q-OT-MSn) was used for extract chemical characterization.

In normotensive rats, S. nutans (10 mg/kg) reduced mean arterial pressure (MAP) by 40% (p < 0.05), causing a dose-dependent coronary artery dilation and decreased left ventricular pressure. In isolated cells, S. nutans extract (1 μg/ml) rapidly reduced the [Ca2+]i transient amplitude and sarcomere shorting by 40 and 49% (p < 0.001), respectively. The amplitude of the caffeine evoked [Ca2+]i transient was reduced by 24% (p < 0.001), indicating reduced sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ content. Sodium-calcium exchanger (NCX) activity increased by 17% (p < 0.05), while sarcoendoplasmic reticulum Ca2+-ATPase (SERCA) activity was decreased by 21% (p < 0.05). LC-MS results showed the presence of vitamin C, malic acid, and several antioxidant phenolic acids reported for the first time. Dihydroeuparin and 4-hydroxy-3-(3-methylbut-2-enyl) acetophenone were abundant in the extract.

In normotensive animals, S. nutans partially reduces MAP by decreasing heart rate and cardiac contractility. This negative inotropy is accounted for by decreased SERCA activity and increased NCX activity which reduces SR Ca2+ content. These results highlight the plant's potential as a source of novel cardio-active phytopharmaceuticals or nutraceuticals.


Palacios, J., Paredes, A., Cifuentes, F., Catalan, M., Garcia-Villalon, A., Borquez, J., …Greensmith, D. (2023). A hydroalcoholic extract of Senecio nutans SCh. Bip (Asteraceae); its effects on cardiac function and chemical characterization. Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 300,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 18, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 3, 2022
Publication Date 2023-01
Deposit Date Oct 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 4, 2023
Journal Journal of Ethnopharmacology
Print ISSN 0378-8741
Publisher Elsevier
Volume 300
Publisher URL
Additional Information Funders : Fondecyt-Chile
Grant Number: 1200610
Grant Number: 11190972
Grant Number: 1220075
Grant Number: 1180059


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