Cucumber ( Linn. [Cucurbitaceae]) is widely known for its purgative, antidiabetic, antioxidant, and anticancer therapeutic potential. However, its effect on gastrointestinal (GI) disease is unrecognised.
This study investigated the effect of fruit extract (CCE) on intestinal chloride secretion, motility, and motor function, and the role of TMEM16A chloride channels.
CCE extracts were obtained from commercially available cucumber. Active fractions were then purified by HPLC and analysed by high resolution mass spectrometry. The effect of CCE on intestinal chloride secretion was investigated in human colonic T84 cells, mouse intestinal tissue using an Ussing chamber, and the two-electrode voltage-clamp technique to record calcium sensitive TMEM16A chloride currents in oocytes. , intestinal motility was investigated using the loperamide-induced C57BL/6 constipation mouse model. contractility of mouse colonic smooth muscles was assessed by isometric force measurements.
CCE increased the short-circuit current (ΔIsc 34.47 ± µA/cm) and apical membrane chloride conductance (ΔI 95 ± 8.1 µA/cm) in intestinal epithelial cells. The effect was dose-dependent, with an EC value of 0.06 µg/mL. CCE stimulated the endogenous TMEM16A-induced Cl current in oocytes. Moreover, CCE increased the contractility of smooth muscle in mouse colonic tissue and enhanced small bowel transit in CCE treated mice compared to loperamide controls. Mass spectrometry suggested a cucurbitacin-like analogue with a mass of 512.07 g/mol underlying the bioactivity of CCE.
A cucurbitacin-like analog present in CCE activates TMEM16A channels, which may have therapeutic potential in cystic fibrosis and intestinal hypodynamic disorders.