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Eur J Pharmacol. 1992 Aug; 218(2-3): 199-203.

Influence of rhein anthrone and rhein on small intestine transit rate in rats: evidence of prostaglandin mediation.

Nijs G, de Witte P, Geboes K, Lemli J.

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biology and Phytopharmacology, K.U. Leuven, Belgium.

The present study was undertaken to investigate the role of prostaglandins in the shortening of transit time observed after intraduodenal administration of rhein anthrone and rhein. After intraduodenal administration of rhein anthrone (0.5-10 mg/rat), a dose-dependent acceleration of small intestinal transit was observed. The effect for rhein (1-10 mg/rat) was far less pronounced. In the same test conditions, analysis of small intestinal tissue revealed a significant increase of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), reaching its maximum value 30 min after administration of rhein anthrone. The increase in PGE2 found 30 min after administration of rhein was not significant. The effects provoked by rhein anthrone could be largely prevented by pretreatment of the animals with indomethacin (1-3 mg rat) or cortisol (10 mg/rat). It is concluded that prostaglandins play an important role in the acceleration of the transit provoked in rats by rhein anthrone.

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