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Quercetin demonstrates analgesic effect in post-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome


Researchers from China and Hong Kong studied the effects of quercetin on visceral pain and 5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT) availability in post-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS) rats. Their findings were published in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

  • Intestinal enterochromaffin (EC) cell hyperplasia and 5-HT availability play key roles in the pathogenesis of abdominal hypersensitivity caused by IBS.
  • For their experiment, the researchers administered 5, 10 and 20?mg/kg quercetin by gavage to PI-IBS rats for 14 days.
  • They reported that, compared with that of normal rats, the visceral pain threshold of PI-IBS rats was markedly decreased while their abdominal motor response to colon distension was markedly increased.
  • EC cell count, as well as 5-HT and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH) protein levels were all significantly elevated in PI-IBS rats, while 5-HT reuptake transporter (serotonin transporter) levels were reduced.
  • The genes responsible for enteroendocrine cell differentiation (Ngn3 and pdx1) were also significantly increased.
  • Quercetin treatment markedly elevated the pain threshold pressure of PI-IBS rats and decreased visceral motor response.
  • It also reduced EC cell density, 5-HT levels and the expression of TPH.
  • In addition, quercetin significantly reduced colonic expression of Ngn3 and pdx1.

Based on these findings, the researchers concluded that quercetin has analgesic effects that can help with PI-IBS management. These effects are due to its ability to reduce 5-HT availability in the colon and regulate endocrine progenitors to reduce the number of EC cells.

Journal Reference:

Qin HY, Zang KH, Zuo X, Wu XA, Bian ZX. QUERCETIN ATTENUATES VISCERAL HYPERSENSITIVITY AND 5-HYDROXYTRYPTAMINE AVAILABILITY IN POSTINFLAMMATORY IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME RATS: ROLE OF ENTEROCHROMAFFIN CELLS IN THE COLON. Journal of Medicinal Food. 10 July 2019;22(7):663–671. DOI: 10.1089/jmf.2018.4264



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