The aim of this study was to investigate the tocolytic properties of Ananas comosus extract in rat and human uterine tissue in vitro and in the rat in vivo. Organ bath technique was employed to perform functional studies in vitro. The PhysioTel transmitter was implanted in SD rats to measure the changes in intrauterine pressure (IUP) in vivo. Analyses of F2 was performed using LC-HRMS.
F2 produced a non-selective inhibitory response on oxytocin, prostaglandin F2α, acetylcholine and KCl. The inhibitory activity of F2 on oxytocin-induced contraction was not attenuated by propranolol, TEA, glibenclamide and indomethacin. Nω-Nitro-L-arginine, a nitric oxide synthase inhibitor, suppressed the maximal tocolytic activity of F2 by 25%. DIDS, an inhibitor of chloride channels, appeared to suppress the relaxant effect of F2. F2 suppressed the oxytocin-induced contraction in Ca2+ free solution. The in vivo tocolytic activity of F2 and ritodrine were observed in non-pregnant rats during the estrous stage by suppressing the frequency and amplitude of IUP peaks following intrauterine administration. Chemical analysis confirmed the involvement of citric acid in the tocolytic activity of F2. However, another less polar fraction is essential to accompany citric acid to produce such potent inhibitory response of F2.
It is likely that F2 exerted tocolytic activity by multiple mechanisms, including antagonizing L-type Ca2+ channels, interfering with the intracellular Ca2+ release mechanism and releasing nitric oxide. F2 would be a promising candidate to develop as a tocolytic agent.