GR 38032F (ondansetron), a selective 5HT3 receptor antagonist, slows colonic transit in healthy man

Dig Dis Sci. 1990 Apr;35(4):477-80. doi: 10.1007/BF01536922.


The newly recognized class of 5-hydroxytryptamine receptors (5HT3) may be involved in the induction of nausea, since their pharmacological antagonists are effective against emesis induced by chemotherapy. 5HT3 receptors are present on enteric neurons, and 5HT3 blockers may produce mild constipation; we thus hypothesized that 5HT3 receptors would modulate colonic motility. To determine if GR 38032F, a selective 5HT3 antagonist known to have antiemetic effects, influences colonic transit in health, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study was performed. Using a radiopaque marker technique, colonic transit was quantified in 39 healthy volunteers (19 men, 20 nonpregnant women) 18-70 years of age. On a standard 25-g fiber diet, 16 mg of GR 38032F was given orally thrice daily. Gastrointestinal peptides (peptide YY, human pancreatic polypeptide, neurotensin, motilin, gastrin-cholecystokinin, substance P) were also measured in plasma fasting and postprandially. Mean total colonic transit time on placebo was 27.8 hr, while on GR 38032F it was 39.1 hr (P less than 0.0005). Transit times through the left colon (P less than 0.0005) and rectosigmoid (P less than 0.05) were prolonged by the drug, but right colonic transit was not significantly altered. Transit times did not correlate with age or gender, but subjects with shorter transit times were significantly more affected than were those with longer transit times. The peak release of peptide YY was minimally decreased following GR 38032F (P less than 0.01), but the peak and integrated postprandial responses of human pancreatic polypeptide, neurotensin, motilin, gastrin-cholecystokinin, and substance P were not significantly altered by the drug.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colon / drug effects*
  • Colon / physiology
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hormones / metabolism
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / drug effects*
  • Gastrointestinal Transit / physiology
  • Humans
  • Imidazoles / pharmacology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ondansetron
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Gastrointestinal Hormones
  • Imidazoles
  • Ondansetron