Effects of alosetron on spontaneous migrating motor complexes in murine small and large bowel in vitro

T. G. Bush, N. J. Spencer, N. Watters, K. M. Sanders, T. K. Smith

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63 Citations (Scopus)


Alosetron (Lotronex) is a serotonin subtype 3 (5-HT3) receptor antagonist that alleviates symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in female patients. Alosetron may act centrally, involve the alteration of ascending pain sensation, or modulate peristaltic, secretory, or sensory function. To investigate further the mechanisms underlying its action and gender selectivity we recorded the effect of increasing concentrations of alosetron or ondansetron on spontaneous migrating motor complexes (MMCs) from isolated terminal ileum or colon from C57BL/6 mice. Both antagonists inhibited MMC frequency before affects on duration or amplitude. The threshold of inhibition for alosetron was 100-fold less in small intestine from females (20 nM) than from males. The opposite effect of gender was observed with ondansetron in the colon. All MMCs were abolished by either drug at 10 -M. Our results demonstrate that alosetron selectively inhibits MMC frequency in isolated preparations of murine bowel. Because contractile events in the ileum correlate with symptoms of lBS in humans, the gender selectivity of alosetron may be caused by a direct action within the small intestine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G974-G983
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Enteric nervous system
  • Motility
  • Ondansetron
  • Serotonin


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