Effects of an Atractylodes lancea rhizome extract and a volatile component β-eudesmol on gastrointestinal motility in mice

J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 May 7;141(1):530-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jep.2012.02.031. Epub 2012 Feb 21.


Aim of the study: The rhizomes of Atractylodes lancea DC (Compositae) are used clinically to treat gastrointestinal symptoms, including functional dyspepsia and gastroparesis, in China and Japan, but their influence and mechanism on gastrointestinal motility are not yet proven in detail.

Materials and methods: This study examined the effects of an Atractylodes lancea extract, and isolated β-eudesmol, on gastric emptying and small intestinal motility in atropine-, dopamine-, and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)-treated mice.

Results and conclusions: The extract (500 or 1000mg/kg) and β-eudesmol (50 or 100mg/kg), as well as itopride hydrochloride (a dopamine D(2) receptor antagonist, 10 or 50mg/kg), stimulated small intestinal motility in normal mice. They inhibited reductions in gastric emptying and gastrointestinal motility induced by dopamine (1mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection, ip). The extract (1000mg/kg) and β-eudesmol (100mg/kg) inhibited the atropine-induced decrease in small intestinal motility, but not gastric emptying. Furthermore, the extract (500 or 1000mg/kg) and β-eudesmol (25, 50, or 100mg/kg) inhibited reductions in gastric emptying and small intestinal motility caused by 5-HT (4mg/kg, ip) or the 5-HT(3) receptor agonist 1-(3-chlorophenyl) biguanide (0.5mg/kg, ip), but not a 5-HT(2C) receptor agonist. These findings suggest that the extract of Atractylodes lancea and β-eudesmol may stimulate gastric emptying or small intestinal motility by inhibiting the dopamine D(2) receptor and 5-HT(3) receptor.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Atractylodes* / chemistry
  • Atropine / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine / administration & dosage
  • Dopamine Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Gastric Emptying / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / isolation & purification
  • Gastrointestinal Agents / pharmacology*
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects*
  • Intestine, Small / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plant Extracts / isolation & purification
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT3 / drug effects
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT3 / metabolism
  • Rhizome
  • Serotonin / administration & dosage
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists / pharmacology
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane / isolation & purification
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane / pharmacology*
  • Solvents / chemistry
  • Volatilization
  • Water / chemistry


  • Dopamine Antagonists
  • Dopamine D2 Receptor Antagonists
  • Gastrointestinal Agents
  • Plant Extracts
  • Receptors, Dopamine D2
  • Receptors, Serotonin, 5-HT3
  • Serotonin 5-HT3 Receptor Antagonists
  • Sesquiterpenes, Eudesmane
  • Solvents
  • Water
  • Serotonin
  • beta-eudesmol
  • Atropine
  • Dopamine