Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a functional gastrointestinal disease with complex pathophysiology involving the brain-gut axis. To assess the effects of Wasabia koreana (WK) on IBS, we employed a mouse model of colonic zymosan injection presenting with diarrhea-predominant IBS-like symptoms. Oral WK administration significantly diminished stool score, suppressed colon length and weight change, and minimized body weight loss without affecting food intake. In WK-treated mice, the submucosal thickening and epithelial lining of the colon were inhibited and were similar to those of naïve mice. Infiltration of mast cells into the colon and serum tumor necrosis factor-α levels were markedly suppressed. These effects were comparable to those of sulfasalazine, an anti-inflammatory drug. Furthermore, the number of visceral pain-related behaviors was significantly decreased, and locomotion activities measured in the elevated plus maze and open field tests were significantly increased by WK in a dose-dependent manner compared with amitriptyline, an antidepressant. These changes were accompanied by reduced FosB2 expression in the brain. Taken together, these data suggest that WK may have potential as a medicinal food for IBS by acting on inflammatory diarrhea and neural activity.
Keywords: animal model; anxiety; colonic inflammation; diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome; pain; wasabi; zymosan.