American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology

Effects of Hange-shashin-to (TJ-14) and Keishi-ka-shakuyaku-to (TJ-60) on contractile activity of circular smooth muscle of the rat distal colon.

PMID 22917628


The Japanese Kampo medicines Hange-shashin-to (TJ-14) and Keishi-ka-shakuyaku-to (TJ-60) have been used to treat symptoms of human diarrhea on an empirical basis as Japanese traditional medicines. However, it remains unclear how these drugs affect smooth muscle tissues in the distal colon. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of TJ-14 and TJ-60 on the contractile activity of circular smooth muscle from the rat distal colon. TJ-14 and TJ-60 (both 1 mg/ml) inhibited spontaneous contractions of circumferentially cut preparations with the mucosa intact. Blockade of nitric oxide (NO) synthase or soluble guanylate cyclase activity abolished the inhibitory effects of TJ-60 but only attenuated the inhibitory effects of TJ-14. Apamin (1 μM), a blocker of small-conductance Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channels (SK channels), attenuated the inhibitory effects of 5 mg/ml TJ-60 but not those of 5 mg/ml TJ-14. TJ-14 suppressed contractile responses (phasic contractions and off-contractions) evoked by transmural nerve stimulation and increased basal tone, whereas TJ-60 had little effect on these parameters. These results suggest that 1 mg/ml TJ-14 or TJ-60 likely inhibits spontaneous contractions of the rat distal colon through the production of NO. Activation of SK channels seems to be involved in the inhibitory effects of 5 mg/ml TJ-60. Since TJ-14 has potent inhibitory effects on myogenic and neurogenic contractile activity, TJ-14 may be useful in suppressing gastrointestinal motility.