Intragastric Dai-Kenchu-To, a Japanese herbal medicine, stimulates colonic motility via transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 in dogs

Tohoku J Exp Med. 2013 Aug;230(4):197-204. doi: 10.1620/tjem.230.197.


Japanese herbal medicine, also known as Kampo, is used for various diseases in Japan. One of those medicines, Dai-Kenchu-To (DKT), is considered clinically effective for adhesive bowel obstruction and chronic constipation. Although scientific evidence of DKT to improve adhesive bowel obstruction was shown in several previous reports, mechanism of DKT to improve constipation remains unknown. Our aim was to study the effect of intragastric DKT on colonic motility and defecation, and the involvement of various receptors in DKT-induced colonic contractions. Five beagle dogs were instructed with serosal strain-gauge force transducers to measure circular muscle activity at the proximal, middle, and distal colon. Dogs are suitable for a present study to administer the drugs repeatedly to the same individual and look at its effect on colonic motility. We studied the effects of DKT (2.5 or 5 g) administered into the stomach on colonic motility. Muscarinic receptor antagonist atropine, nicotinic receptor antagonist hexamthonium, or 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 receptor antagonist ondansetron was injected intravenously 10 min before DKT administration. Capsazepine, an antagonist to transient receptor potential cation channel subfamily V member 1 (TRPV1), was administered into the stomach 5 min before DKT administration. Intragastric DKT (2.5 or 5 g) induced colonic contractions within 10 min after administration but did not induce defecation. Pretreatment with atropine, hexamthonium, ondansetron, or capsazepine inhibited DKT-induced colonic contractions. These results indicate that orally administered DKT stimulates colonic motility via TRPV1, muscarinic, nicotinic, and 5-hydroxytryptamine-3 receptors, thereby providing scientific support for the efficacy of oral DKT in chronic constipation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsaicin / administration & dosage
  • Capsaicin / analogs & derivatives
  • Capsaicin / pharmacology
  • Colon / drug effects*
  • Colon / physiology
  • Constipation / drug therapy
  • Dogs
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / drug effects*
  • Herbal Medicine / methods
  • Infusions, Parenteral
  • Japan
  • Medicine, East Asian Traditional
  • Panax
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Plants, Medicinal
  • Stomach
  • TRPV Cation Channels / antagonists & inhibitors
  • TRPV Cation Channels / physiology*
  • Zanthoxylum
  • Zingiberaceae


  • Plant Extracts
  • TRPV Cation Channels
  • TRPV1 receptor
  • dai-kenchu-to
  • capsazepine
  • Capsaicin