• Swati Kundu Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Hiba Shabir Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Seemi Farhat Basir Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Luqman A. Khan Cell Signaling Lab, Department of Biosciences, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi, India 110025, India


Arsenic, Aorta, Mercury, Trachea, Thymol, ROS


Objective: Thymol is known to cause smooth muscle relaxation, possibly by inhibition of Ca2+influx, release or loss of its sensitivity. It is, however, also reported to be a strong antioxidant in several other systems. In this study, we investigate other possible pathways of thymol caused relaxation of aortic and tracheal segments by using specific blockers, and explore it as potential ameliorator of arsenic and mercury caused hyper contraction.

Methods: Male Wistar rats were used in all experiments. Aorta/trachea was carefully removed, cleaned, and cut into 2-mm thick rings. Isometric contractions were measured using organ bath system. One-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Student's t-test were used for statistical analyses. P<0.05 was considered significant.

Results: In pollutant unexposed aortic and tracheal segments, thymol is found to inhibit contractions through quenching of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in addition to its previously reported effects on Ca2+movements. Equal effectiveness in absence and presence of NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) indicates that nitric oxide (NO) has no significant role in the thymol caused relaxation.

Conclusion: In both muscle types, thymol is found to be an effective ameliorator of As (III) and Hg (II) caused hyper contraction, at low concentrations; it acts by inhibiting the Ca2+influx whereas at high concentration, it acts by blocking Ca2+influx and neutralizing ROS.



Download data is not yet available.


ATSDR (Agency for toxic substances and disease registry). Priority list of hazardous substances; 2013. Available from: [Last accessed on 16 Jan 2014].

Ahmad K. Report highlights widespread arsenic contamination in Bangladesh. Lancet 2001;358:133.

UNEP. Global mercury assessment: Sources, emissions, releases and environmental transport; 2013. Available from: [Last accessed on 20 Dec 2014].

ATSDR (Agency for toxic substances and disease Registry). Toxicological profile for arsenic; 2000. Available from [Last accessed on 16 Jan 2014].

ATSDR (Agency for toxic substances and disease registry). Mercury toxicological overview; 2007. Available from [Last accessed on 20 Jan 2014].

Kundu S, Shabir H, Basir SF, Khan LA. Inhibition of As (III) and Hg (II) caused aortic hypercontraction by eugenol, linalool, and carvone. J Smooth Muscle Res 2014;50:93-102.

Kundu S, Shabir H, Basir SF, Khan LA. Eugenol and carvone as relaxants of arsenic and mercury hypercontracted rat trachea. Toxicol Ind Health 2015. doi: 10.1177/0748233715598266. [Article in Press].

Li J, Shen Y, Cai B, Zhao J, Bai X, Lu Y, Li X. Arsenic trioxide induces the apoptosis in vascular smooth muscle cells via increasing intracellular calcium and ROS formation. Mol Biol Rep 2010;37:1569-76.

Lemos NB, Angeli JK, Faria T, Ribeiro RF, Vassallo DV, Padilha AS, et al. Low mercury concentration produces vasoconstriction, decreases nitric oxide bioavailability and increases oxidative stress in conductance rat artery. PLoS One 2012;7:e49005.

Sakai T, Fujii K, Takemoto N. Thymol contracture and rapid cooling contraction of thymol-treated muscle fibers. Nippon Seirigaku Zasshi 1967;29:600-1.

Astudillo A, Hong E, Bye R, Navarrete A. Antispasmodic activity of extracts and compounds of acalypha phleoides cav. Phytother Res 2004;18:102-6.

Peixoto-Neves D, Silva-Alves KS, Gomesa MDM, Lima FC, Lahloua S, Magalhaes PJC, et al. Vasorelaxant effects of the monoterpene phenol isomers, carvacrol, and thymol, on rat isolated aorta. Fundam Clin Pharmacol 2010;24:341-50.

Van Den CO, Lemli JA. Antispasmodic activity of origanum compactum. Planta Med 1982;45:188-90.

Szentandrassy N, Szigeti G, Szegedi C. Effect of thymol on calcium handling in the mammalian ventricular myocardium. Life Sci 2004;74:909-21.

Khalil F, Gonick HC, Weiler EW, Prins B, Weber MA. Lead-induced hypertension: possible role of endothelial factors. Am J Hypertens 1993;6:723-9.

Shabir H, Kundu S, Basir SF, Khan LA. Modulation of Pb(II) caused aortal construction by eugenol and carvacrol. Biol Trace Elem Res 2014;161:116-22.

Shabir H, Kundu S, Basir SF, Khan LA. Amelioration of lead and cadmium-induced rat tracheal hypercontraction by linalool and eugenol. Toxicol Environ Chem 2014;92:307-17.

Grange RW, Isotani E, Lau KS, Kamm KE, Huang PL, Stull JT. Nitric oxide contributes to vascular smooth muscle relaxation in contracting fast-twitch muscles. Physiol Genomics 2001;5:35-44.

Hisayama T, Takayanagi I. Some properties, and mechanisms of thymol-induced release of calcium from the calcium store in guinea-pig taenia caecum. Jpn J Pharmacol 1986;40:69-82.

Palade P. Drug-induced Ca2+release from isolated sarcoplasmic reticulum II releases involving a Ca2+induced Ca2+release channel. J Biol Chem 1987;262:6142-8.

Hejazian SH, Bagheri SM, Safari F. Spasmolytic and anti-spasmodic action of trachyspermum ammi essence on rat's ileum contraction. North Am J Med Sci 2014;6:643-7.

Hirota K, Hashiba E, Yoshioka H. Effects of three different L-type Ca2+entry blockers on airway constriction induced by muscarinic receptor stimulation. Br J Anaesth 2003;90:671-5.

Jin N, Packer CS, Rhoades RA. The reactive oxygen-mediated contraction in pulmonary arterial smooth muscle: cellular mechanisms. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 1991;69:383-8.

Sausbier M, Schubert R, Voigt V. Mechanisms of NO/cGMP-dependent vasorelaxation. Circ Res 2000;87:825-30.

Hagiwara S, Mitsui M, Karaki H. Effects of felodipine, nifedipine and verapamil on cytosolic Ca2+and contraction in vascular smooth muscle. Eur J Pharmacol 1993;234:1-7.

Heumuller S, Wind S, Barbosa-Sicard E. Apocynin is not an inhibitor of vascular NADPH oxidases but an antioxidant. Hypertension 2007;51:211-7.

Stolk J, Hiltermann TJ, Dijkman JH, Verhoeven AJ. Characteristics of the inhibition of NADPH oxidase activation in neutrophils by apocynin, a methoxy-substituted catechol. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol 1994;11:95-102.

Niazmand S, Fereidouni E, Mahmoudabady M, Mousav SM. Endothelium-Independent vasorelaxant effects of hydroalcoholic extract from Nigella sativa seed in rat aorta: the Roles of Ca2+and K+Channels. Biomed Res Int 2014. doi:org/ 10.1155/2014/247054. [Article in Press]



How to Cite

Kundu, S., H. Shabir, S. F. Basir, and L. A. Khan. “THYMOL TEMPERS As (III) AND Hg (II) CAUSED HYPERCONTRACTILITY BY SIMILAR PATHWAYS IN ISOLATED AORTIC AND TRACHEAL RINGS”. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, vol. 8, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 404-7,



Original Article(s)