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Cholinesterase-Sensitive Muscarinic Agent of the Seeds of Abrus precatorius

A methanol extract (M) of seeds of Abrus precatorius Linn Fabaceae was gel-filtered on Sephadex G15 column eluted with 0.85% NaCl and the combined 3-ml fractions 4-10 of the eluate was subjected to thin layer chromatography on silica gel F254/366 in methanol : chloroform : acetic acid (8:1:1). The most polar fraction, Rf = 0.12 was recovered and designated Chn. This fraction was hydrolysed into two alkaloids by cholinesterases in an eserine-sensitive manner. Chn induced dose–dependent contractions of the guinea pig ileum. Hexamethonium reduced the contraction substantially but the tissue regained full sensitivity to Chn in the presence of blocking doses of hexamethonium. The residual contraction was abolished by atropine

1Njoku, U. O., 2Agbo, I. U., 1Joshua, P. E., 3Ozoemena, N. F. and 1Nwodo, O. F. C. 1Department of Biochemistry; University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria 2Department of Pure and Industrial Chemistry, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria 3Department of Anat

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