Chinese Herbal Medicine Increases Tissue Oxygen Tension

  • Robert A. Linsenmeier
  • Thomas K. Goldstick
  • Shu-Lun Zhang
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 248)


Anisodamine, an alkaloid from the Chinese solancea plant (Anisodus Tanguticus). found only in the foothills of the Himalayas near Tibet, has been employed for centuries as a Chinese herbal medicine. The natural alkaloid was isolated in 1965 and has now been synthesized. It is structurally almost identical to atropine. This synthetic anisodamine, known as compound 654-2, has the identical pharmacological and clinical properties as the naturally occurring one. In the present study, the synthetic compound was used. Anisodamine is said to have been used in China to treat conditions as varied as septic shock, lobar pneumonia, glomerular nephritis, migraine headache, pancreatitis, retinochoroiditis, diabetes, and gangrene. Although its mechanism of action has not yet been fully elucidated, it is known to act as a weak vasodilator in some tissues. It has also been found to inhibit platelet aggregation, reduce coagulation, increase the flexibility of erythrocytes, and block calcium channels. It seemed to us that much of its clinical efficacy might also be explained by an increase in tissue PO2. Until now this increase has only been measured in skin. As a part of a larger study of retinal tissue oxygen transport, we have attempted to measure the effect of anisodamine on the retinal tissue PO2 in cats.


Chinese Herbal Medicine Vitreous Humor Erythrocyte Deformability Glomerular Nephritis Chlorided Silver 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert A. Linsenmeier
    • 1
  • Thomas K. Goldstick
    • 1
  • Shu-Lun Zhang
    • 2
  1. 1.Departments of Biomedical Engineering and Chemical EngineeringNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Microcirculation Research LaboratoryCapital Institute of PediatricsBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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