Journal of Natural Medicines

, Volume 65, Issue 1, pp 89–94 | Cite as

Inhibitory effects of zingerone, a pungent component of Zingiber officinale Roscoe, on colonic motility in rats

  • Momoe Iwami
  • Takahiko Shiina
  • Haruko Hirayama
  • Takeshi Shima
  • Tadashi Takewaki
  • Yasutake Shimizu
Original Paper


Ginger (rhizome of Zingiber officinale Roscoe) is an herbal medicine for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders including constipation and diarrhea. Zingerone is a likely active constituent responsible for the antidiarrheal activity of ginger. The current study was designed to characterize pharmacological actions of zingerone on colonic motility. To evaluate pharmacological effects of zingerone on colonic motility, we used isolated colonic segments from rats, in which mechanical responses were recorded in the longitudinal direction. In addition, we evaluated the effects on colonic motility in vivo by measuring intraluminal pressure changes and expelled fluid volume from the colon in anesthetized rats. Zingerone was applied to the lumen of the colon to allow the drug to access from the mucosal side. Zingerone inhibited spontaneous contractile movements in the isolated colonic segments in a dose-dependent manner. The inhibitory effects of zingerone on colonic movements were not affected by pretreatment with capsazepine, a typical antagonist of transient receptor potential vanilloid 1. In addition, tetrodotoxin, a blocker of voltage-dependent sodium channels on neurons, did not affect the suppression of colonic movements by zingerone, suggesting that zingerone acts on the smooth muscles directly. Zingerone also attenuated colonic motility in vivo without affecting blood pressure and heart rate. The effects were reversible and reproducible. Our findings suggest that zingerone can inhibit colonic motility via direct action on smooth muscles. Zingerone might exert beneficial therapeutic effects on hypermotility-induced diarrhea by abrogating excessive gastrointestinal motility.


Colon Diarrhea Gastrointestinal motility Ginger Zingerone 



We are grateful to Kanebo Institute for the kind gift of zingerone. This work was supported in part by Grants-In-Aid for Scientific Research from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology of Japan.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy and Springer 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Momoe Iwami
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takahiko Shiina
    • 1
  • Haruko Hirayama
    • 1
  • Takeshi Shima
    • 1
  • Tadashi Takewaki
    • 1
  • Yasutake Shimizu
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Physiology, Department of Basic Veterinary ScienceThe United Graduate School of Veterinary SciencesGifuJapan
  2. 2.Gifu City Women’s CollegeGifuJapan

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