Khellin - Toothpicks, kidney stones, and mast cells

  • chromone brought into existence by Ammi visnaga, a herbaceous plant native to the Middle East that is also affectionately known as toothpickweed since it's pedicels apparently make good toothpicks (hooray!)
  • relaxer of smooth muscle
    • used historically to treat pain caused by kidney stones since it relaxes ureteral smooth muscle in order to facilitate the rather uncomfortable movement of stones into the bladder
    • used to treat asthma since it has antispasmodic activity with respect to bronchial smooth muscle
  • cromoglicate (cromolyn, cromoglycate) and nedocromil (Tilade) are synthetic khellin analogues that have neat names and do cool stuff like prevent the release of pro-inflammatory mediators such as histamine from mast cells, making them effective drugs for treating asthma
Cockcroft DW. Pharmacologic therapy for asthma: overview and historical perspective. J Clin Pharmacol. 1999 Mar;39(3):216-22.

2 chemically inspired comments:

Anonymous said...

not to be confused with "Ammi majus", the source of a psoralen used ont he treatment of psoriasis.

CC said...

This post is zuuuuuuuuuuuuuber.