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The Effects of Ibogaine on Uterine Smooth Muscle Contractions: Relation to the Activity of Antioxidant Enzymes

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Ibogaine is an indole alkaloid originally extracted from the root bark of the African rainforest shrub Tabernanthe iboga. It has been explored as a treatment for substance abuse because it interrupts drug addiction and relieves withdrawal symptoms. However, it has been shown that ibogaine treatment leads to a sharp and transient fall in cellular ATP level followed by an increase of cellular respiration and ROS production. Since contractile tissues are sensitive to changes in the levels of ATP and ROS, here we investigated an ibogaine-mediated link between altered redox homeostasis and uterine contractile activity. We found that low concentrations of ibogaine stimulated contractile activity in spontaneously active uteri, but incremental increase of doses inhibited it. Inhibitory concentrations of ibogaine led to decreased SOD1 and elevated GSH-Px activity, but doses that completely inhibited contractions increased CAT activity. Western blot analyses showed that changes in enzyme activities were not due to elevated enzyme protein concentrations but posttranslational modifications. Changes in antioxidant enzyme activities point to a vast concentration-dependent increase in H2O2 level. Knowing that extracellular ATP stimulates isolated uterus contractility, while H2O2 has an inhibitory effect, this concentration-dependent stimulation/inhibition could be linked to ibogaine-related alterations in ATP level and redox homeostasis.
Oreščanin-Dušić, Z., Tatalović, N., Vidonja-Uzelac, T., Nestorov, J., Nikolić-Kokić, A., Mijušković, A., … & Blagojević, D. (2018). The Effects of Ibogaine on Uterine Smooth Muscle Contractions: Relation to the Activity of Antioxidant Enzymes. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity2018. 10.1155/2018/5969486
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