Definition of ouabain in English:



  • A toxic compound obtained from certain trees, used as a very rapid cardiac stimulant. It is a polycyclic glycoside.

    • ‘We treated rat lungs with amiloride and ouabain, respectively.’
    • ‘An unexpected result is that ouabain and amiloride, which do not react directly with cytochrome c oxidase, modify significantly the absorption of the photoacceptor (mirrored by the action spectrum in our case).’
    • ‘On the extracellular side of the membrane, a small extracellular domain is composed of short loops between various transmembrane helices and contains the binding site for ouabain.’
    • ‘We have found in this study that treating of cell suspension with sodium azide, SNP, ouabain or amiloride before irradiation significantly modifies the spectrum of cell attachment enhancement.’
    • ‘It would have been preferable to discard this possibility by more complete blockade of active sodium transport (with the use of a sodium channel blocker in addition to ouabain, instead of ouabain alone).’


Late 19th century: via French from Somali wabayo, denoting a tree that yields poison (used on arrow points) containing ouabain.