[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical studies with the fixed herbal combination product STW 5 (Iberogast) have indicated an efficacy comparable to metoclopramide (5-HT(3) antagonist) and cisapride (5-HT(4) agonist) in functional gastro-intestinal diseases like functional dyspepsia (FD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Since serotonin (5-HT(3) and 5-HT(4)) and muscarinic M(3) receptors are known to play a central role in the etiology of FD and IBS, the extracts contained in STW 5 and several of their phytochemical components were studied in vitro for binding affinities to these receptors of the intestine. STW 5 inhibited the binding of (3)H-GR113808 and (3)H-4-DAMP to 5-HT(4) and M(3) receptors, respectively, about 10 times more potently than the binding of (3)H-GR65630 to 5-HT(3) receptors. IC(50) values for STW 5 did correspond to extract dilutions of 1:1000 (M(3) binding) and 1:2000 (5-HT(4) binding). In addition, STW 5 also potently inhibited the binding to opioid receptors with an IC(50) value of 1:2000. Of the nine herbal extracts contained in STW 5, the fresh plant extract of bitter candy tuft (Iberis amara) selectively inhibited binding to M(3) receptors, while ethanolic extracts of celandine herb and chamomile flower were selective to 5-HT(4), and liquorice root to 5-HT(3) receptors. Binding affinities to human recombinant 5-HT(3), 5-HT(4) and M(3) receptors were qualitatively similar to those of the corresponding intestinal receptors. The benzylisoquinoline alkaloid berberine had significant inhibitory action on 5-HT(4) and M(3) binding, showing IC(50) values of 40 ng/ml (100 nM) and 200 ng/ml (500 nM), respectively, but is present in the extract of celandine herb only in traces, so that also for the celandine extract a cooperative effect of several phytochemical constituents can be assumed. These in vitro data indicate that 5-HT(4) (to a lesser degree 5-HT(3)), muscarinic M(3), and opioid receptors represent target sites for the treatment of FD and IBS with STW 5 (Iberogast).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Methanolic leaf and root extracts of the Hawaiian kava (Piper methysticum Forst.) cultivars, Mahakea, Nene, Purple Moi and PNG, were tested on binding affinities to CNS receptors including GABAA (GABA and benzodiazepine binding site), dopamine D2, opioid (mu and delta), serotonin (5-HT6 and 5-HT7) and histamine (H1 and H2). HPLC analysis was carried out in order to determine the amount of the main kavalactones kavain, 7,8-dihydrokavain, methysticin, 7,8-dihydromethysticin, yangonin and 5,6-demethoxyyangonin. The most potent binding inhibition was observed for leaf extracts to GABAA receptors (GABA binding site) with IC50 values of approximately 3 micrograms/ml, whereas root extracts were less active with IC50 values ranging from 5 micrograms/ml (Nene) to 87 micrograms/ml (Mahakea). Since the leaf extracts generally contained lower amounts of the kavalactones than the root extracts, there might exist additional substances responsible for these activities. Leaf extracts also inhibited binding to dopamine D2, opioid (mu and delta) and histamine (H1 and H2) receptors more potently than the corresponding root extracts with IC50 values ranging from 1 to 100 micrograms/ml vs. > or = 100 micrograms/l, respectively. Significant differences in the potential of binding inhibition were also observed between cultivars. Binding to serotonin (5-HT6 and 5-HT7) and benzodiazepine receptors was only weakly inhibited by both root and leaf extracts of all four cultivars. In conclusion, our investigation indicates that the GABAA, dopamine D2, opioid (mu and delta) and histamine (H1 and H2) receptors might be involved in the pharmacological action of kava extracts. Since the cultivars contained similar amounts of kavalactones, while their pharmacological activities differed markedly, other constituents may play a role in the observed activities. Additionally, leaves generally exhibited more potent binding inhibition than roots, therefore leaf of P. methysticum might be an interesting subject for further pharmacological studies.