Opioid Activity / Standardization of Vitex agnus-castus

Summary

Principal Investigator: DONNA WEBSTER
Abstract: The focus of this research is the investigation of molecular mechanisms of opioid activity in an extract of Vitex agnus-castus L. (Chasteberry), used to treat premenstrual syndrome. Chasteberry extract has been shown clinically to improve symptoms of PMS, possibly through binding to opioid receptors. Therefore, it seems prudent to investigate Vitex agnus-castus for relief of PMS symptoms through opioid activity. The purpose of this training grant is to educate the applicant in various identification and characterization techniques, which have particular usefulness in the field of botanical supplements. These techniques will be applied to determine the mechanism of opioid activity for Vitex agnus-castus and compare it to related Vitex species that are often found as common adulterants in a preparation of Chasteberry and will include the following: 1) Identification of the compound(s) that bind to opioid receptors through bioassay-guided fractionation using a cell-based opioid assay. 2) Determination if this compound activates or inhibits opioid receptors. 3) Formal documentation of a botanical, chemical, and biological comparison of Vitex agnus castus to three other species of Vitex that are most commonly found as contaminants.
Funding Period: 2005-03-01 - 2009-02-28
more information: NIH RePORT

Top Publications

  1. ncbi Activation of the mu-opiate receptor by Vitex agnus-castus methanol extracts: implication for its use in PMS
    D E Webster
    Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, 833 South Woods Street, Room 335, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
    J Ethnopharmacol 106:216-21. 2006
  2. pmc Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) behaves as a mixed competitive ligand and partial agonist at the human mu opiate receptor
    Mee Ra Rhyu
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, UIC NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research and Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA
    J Agric Food Chem 54:9852-7. 2006
  3. pmc Opioidergic mechanisms underlying the actions of Vitex agnus-castus L
    Donna E Webster
    UIC NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
    Biochem Pharmacol 81:170-7. 2011

Detail Information

Publications3

  1. ncbi Activation of the mu-opiate receptor by Vitex agnus-castus methanol extracts: implication for its use in PMS
    D E Webster
    Department of Biopharmaceutical Sciences, College of Pharmacy, 833 South Woods Street, Room 335, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
    J Ethnopharmacol 106:216-21. 2006
    ..001), respectively. These results suggested for the first time that VAC acted as an agonist at the mu-opiate receptor, supporting its beneficial action in PMS...
  2. pmc Black cohosh (Actaea racemosa, Cimicifuga racemosa) behaves as a mixed competitive ligand and partial agonist at the human mu opiate receptor
    Mee Ra Rhyu
    Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy, UIC NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research and Program for Collaborative Research in the Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 60612, USA
    J Agric Food Chem 54:9852-7. 2006
    ..8 +/- 7.7 microg/mL. These results demonstrate for the first time that black cohosh contains active principle(s) that activate hMOR, supporting its beneficial role in alleviating menopausal symptoms...
  3. pmc Opioidergic mechanisms underlying the actions of Vitex agnus-castus L
    Donna E Webster
    UIC NIH Center for Botanical Dietary Supplements Research, College of Pharmacy, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
    Biochem Pharmacol 81:170-7. 2011
    ..These results suggest VAC may exert its therapeutic effects through the activation of MOR, DOR, but not KOR...