Cardiotonic steroids

Bufotoxins are a family of toxic steroid lactones . They occur in the parotoid glands , skin and poison of many toads ( genus Bufo ) and other amphibians, and in some plants and mushrooms. [1] [2] [3] The exact composition varies greatly with the specific source of the toxin. It can contain: 5-MeO-DMT , bufagins , bufalin , bufotalin , bufotenin , bufothionine , epinephrine , norepinephrine , and serotonin . The term bufotoxin can also be used specifically to describe the conjugate of a bufagin with suberylargine. [4]

The search for endogenous digitalis led to the isolation of ouabain from blood adrenals and hypothalamus. Additional cardiotonic steroids of the cardenolid and bufadienolide type seem to circulate in blood. Adrenal cortical cells in tissue culture release ouabain upon addition of angiotensin 11. Ouabain in blood is increased in 50% of Caucasians with low renin hypertension. Analogous to other steroid hormones, cardiotonic steroid hormones in blood are bound to a specific cardiac glycoside binding globulin. Since ouabain induced growth of myocytes in tissue culture, this effect probably mediates by partial inhibition of the sodium pump and consecutive rise of intracellular Ca2+ the thickening of the wall of arteries and myocardium. PST 2238, an antagonist of cardiac glycoside function at the sodium pump, leads in rats under prolonged therapy to a decrease of hypertension. The finding of ouabain as a new adrenal hormone of the Na+ metabolism and of ouabain antagonists opens new possibilities of therapy of hypertension and congestive heart failure.

Cardiotonic steroids

cardiotonic steroids


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