Paeoniflorin is a main active component in traditional Chinese medicine. Paeoniae alba radix is widely used as a spasmolytic and pain-relieving agent for abdominal spasmodic pain. Functional dyspepsia (FD) is characterized by pain or burning in the epigastrium, fullness, bloating and nausea. However, limited information is available about the effect of paeoniflorin on FD.
In this study, iodoacetamide or clonidine-induced FD rat models were established to investigate the impacts of paeoniflorin on FD induced by different pathophysiologic disturbances.
We found the therapeutic effect of paeoniflorin through assessing the gastric emptying, gastric accommodation and visceral hypersensitivity. This function of paeoniflorin was related to the release of acetylcholine (ACh), which was accompanied by reduced acetylcholinesterase (AchE) activity in stomach and hypothalamus. Paeoniflorin administration inhibited the cyclo-oxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression and increased the level of ghrelin in the stomach. Besides, the levels of occludin and ZO-1 were elevated in the duodenum from paeoniflorin-treated rats, suggesting the impaired duodenal barrier was ameliorated.