Metabolomics-coupled functional pharmacology of chlorophyll compounds isolated from the leaves of Ficus Exasperata Vahl (Moraceae) provides novel pathways on myometrial activity

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New chlorophyll derivatives (pheophytins along with pheophorbide derivatives) were isolated from the leaves of Ficus exasperata and were found to have varying effects on uterine contractility. The current study was therefore aimed at the utilization of mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy coupled with isolated uterine tissue assay as a platform to assist in the determination of the mechanism of activity of the isolated chlorophyll compounds from the plant F exasperata. The pheophytin and pheophorbide compounds (200 µg/mL) were added to the isolated uterine tissues. Mice uteri, treated with the pheophytin compounds, and the physiological buffer in which the uterine tissues were immersed, were rapidly collected and analyzed using high-resolution Fourier transform mass spectrometry and proton (1H) nuclear magnetic resonance for bioinformatics study. Resulting data were analyzed via pairwise chemometric comparison models, with P < .05 considered statistically significant. Primary signaling pathways found to be correlated with the pheophytins in this study included cyclic adenosine monophosphate, dopamine, extracellular signal-regulated kinases 1/2, and glutamate pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)923-937
Number of pages15
JournalReproductive Sciences
Issue number6
Early online date26 Sep 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2018


  • metabolomics
  • uterus
  • pheophytin
  • chlorophyll
  • pharmacology

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