Pharmaceutical interest

Acetylcholine: A curious feature of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. is that it contains acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter, responsible for the parasympathetic neurotransmission in our organism. One might therefore set the hypothesis that the presence of acetylcholine could explain the diuretic property of the plant, by the activation of muscarinic Fig. 126. Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. receptors resulting in the contraction of the ureter and the bladder. Acetylcholine could O

also be responsible for the antifebrile properties H3C4,. + of Capsella bursa-pastoris, since it is known to stimulate the secretion of sweat. An anti-ulcer property is also probable. Acetylcholine

Chemotherapeutic interest: A benzenic extract of Capsella bursa-pastoris (L.) Medic. reduces the number of bacteria and yeasts cultured in vitro (El-Abyad MS et a/., 1990) on a probable account of luteolin-7-rutinoside and quercetin-3-rutinoside. An extract of the plant given to mice (0.14g/Kg/d) experimentally infested with Ehrilch solid tumors reduces by 50%-80% the proliferation of tumors. Fumaric acid was characterized as the active principle and was able to annihilate efficiently the tumors at a dose of 10 mg/Kg/day. This compound is moderately toxic with a lethal dose 50% of 266 mg/Kg (Kuroda K etal., 1976).

Other pharmacological properties: The plant is known to exert other manifold pharmacological properties. Extracts display diuretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-ulcer (Kuroda K et a/., 1969), cardiovascular (Kuroda K et a/., 1969a) and haemostatic properties (Kuroda K etal., 1969b).The haemostatic principle is bursinic acid.

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