Studies of aloe. III. Mechanism of cathartic effect.


Ishii Y , Tanizawa H , Takino Y




Chem Pharm Bull


The mechanism of action of aloe-emodin-9-anthrone, a decomposition product of barbaloin, in causing a significant increase in the water content of the rat large intestine, was investigated. Aloe-emodin-9- anthrone inhibited rat colonic Na+, K(+)-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) in vitro, and increased the paracellular permeability across the rat colonic mucosa in vivo. Therefore, it seemed that the increase in water content of the rat large intestine produced by aloe- emodin-9-anthrone was due to both inhibition of absorption and stimulation of secretion without stimulation of peristalsis. Furthermore, pretreatment with loperamide, an antidiarrheal agent, completely prevented the increase of paracellular permeability induced by aloe-emodin-9-anthrone but did not completely reduce the concomitant increase in residual fluid volume. These findings suggest that aloe-emodin-9-anthrone has multiple mechanisms of action involved in the increase of water content in the rat large intestine.

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