Fig. 70. Vitex quinata (Lour.) F.N. Will.

vitetrifolin, and vitetrifolin E, and a flavonoid viteicarpin, which induces apoptosis of both tsFT210 and K562 cell-lines (87,88). Note that the concomitance of use for headache and breast troubles might be indicative of a possible dopaminergic property; however, this remains to be confirmed or infirmed experimentally. Are dopaminergic labdanes involved here or are flavonoids, such as vitexicarpin? Naidu et al. made the exiting suggestion that the analgesic activity of flavonoids, such as quercetin, could be mediated by D2-dopamine receptors (89). Are flavonoids, especially the liposoluble ones, holding potentials for the treatment of Parkinsonism?

Vitex quinata (Lour.) F.N. Will. (Vitex heterophylla Roxb.), or shan mu jing (Chinese), is a tree that grows to a height of 12 m in Taiwan, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The young stems are pubescent and quadrangular. The leaves are decussate and three- to five-foliolate, thinly coriaceous, glossy, and 5-20 cm X 2.5-8.5 cm (Fig. 70). The influorescences are terminal lax, densely yellowish-brown, pubescent panicles of yellowish, bilabiate flowers. The fruits are black drupes. In Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, the fruits are used to treat neuralgia and the leaves are used as tea. The bark is used to invigorate and to stimulate appetite. To date, the pharmacological potential of Vitex quinata (Lour.) F.N. Will. is unexplored. It would be interesting whether further study results in the characterization of dopaminergic agents from this plant.

Vitex vestita Wallich ex Schauer, or huang mao mu jing (Chinese), is a tree that grows to a height of 8 m tall in China and Southeast Asia. The stems are densely yellow-brown and pubescent. Leaves are three-foliolate; the folioles are elliptic-oblong to elliptic, membranous, and 2.5-15 cm X 1.5-8 cm. The influorescence is dichotomous cymes of small yellowish bilabiate flowers. The fruits are black drupes of up to 8 mm long. In Malaysia and Indonesia, the plant is used to cause abortion. The dopaminergic potential of the plant is unknown. Note that some evidence has already been presented indicate-ing that prolactine disorders might be responsible for habitual abortion. Ando et al. showed that patients with a history of recurrent spontaneous abortion and prolactine disorders without impaired corpus luteum function treated with bromocriptine were able to maintain pregnancy (90). An interesting development from Vitex vestita and other plants traditionally used for inducing abortion would be to assess any dopami-nergic activities and to characterize the active principles responsible for such activity.

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