Journal of neurogastroenterology and motility 22(4) 686-693 doi 10.5056/jnm15190
Dai-kenchu-to (DKT), a traditional Japanese herbal medicine, is known to increase gastrointestinal motility and improve ileal function. We tested our hypotheses that (1) pretreatment with DKT would block the colorectal distention-induced visceromotor response in rats, and (2) pretreatment with DKT would attenuate colorectal distention-induced adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release and anxiety-related behavior.
Rats were pretreated with vehicle or DKT (300 mg/kg/5 mL, per os). Visceromotor responses were analyzed using electromyography in response to colorectal distention (10, 20, 40, 60, and 80 mmHg for 20 seconds at 3-minutes intervals). Anxiety-related behavior was measured during exposure to an elevated-plus maze after colorectal distention. Plasma ACTH and serum corticosterone levels were measured after exposure to the elevated-plus maze.
Colorectal distention produced robust contractions of the abdominal musculature, graded according to stimulus intensity, in vehicle-treated rats. At 40, 60, and 80 mmHg of colorectal distention, the visceromotor responses of DKT-treated rats was significantly lower than that of vehicle-treated rats. At 80 mmHg, the amplitude was suppressed to approximately one-third in DKT-treated rats, compared with that in vehicle-treated rats. Smooth muscle compliance and the velocity of accommodation to 60 mmHg of stretching did not significantly differ between the vehicle-treated and DKT-treated rats. Similarly, the DKT did not influence colorectal distention-induced ACTH release, corticosterone levels, or anxiety-related behavior in rats.
Our results suggest that DKT attenuates the colorectal distention-induced visceromotor responses, without increasing smooth muscle compliance, ACTH release or anxiety-related behavior in rats.