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Open Access Research article

Lubiprostone stimulates small intestinal mucin release

Robert C De Lisle

Author Affiliations

Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, KS, 66160, USA

BMC Gastroenterology 2012, 12:156  doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-156

Published: 6 November 2012

Abstract

Background

Lubiprostone is a synthetic bicyclic fatty acid derivative of prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) used for chronic constipation. The best known action of lubiprostone is simulation of Cl- dependent fluid secretion. In a mouse model of the genetic disease cystic fibrosis, we previously showed that in vivo administration of lubiprostone resulted in greater mucus accumulation in the small intestine. The aim of this study was to directly test whether lubiprostone stimulates intestinal mucin release.

Methods

Mucin release was measured by mounting segments (4-5 cm) of mouse proximal-mid small intestine in an organ bath, allowing access to the perfusate (luminal) and the bath (serosal) solutions. Nifedipine (10-6 M) and indomethacin (10-5 M) were included in all solutions to inhibit smooth muscle activity and endogenous prostaglandin production, respectively. The tissue was equilibrated under flow for 30 min, using the perfusate collected during the final 10 min of the equilibration period to measure unstimulated release rate. Stimulus was then added to either the perfusate or the bath and the perfusate was collected for another 30 min to measure the stimulated mucin release rate. Mucin in perfusates was quantified by periodic acid-Schiff's base dot-blot assay, using purified pig gastric mucin as a standard.

Results

When applied luminally at 1 μM lubiprostone was ineffective at stimulating mucin release. When added to the serosal solution, 1 μM lubiprostone stimulated mucin release to ~300% of the unstimulated rate. As a positive control, serosal 1 μM prostaglandin E2 increased mucin release to ~400% of the unstimulated rate.

Conclusions

These results support the idea that lubiprostone has prostaglandin-like actions on the intestine, which includes stimulation of mucin release. Stimulation of mucin release by lubiprostone may be protective in gastrointestinal conditions where loss of mucus is believed to contribute to pathogenesis. Thus, in addition to chronic constipation, there is greater potential for the therapeutic applications of lubiprostone.

Keywords:
Intestine; Lubiprostone; Mucin; Prostaglandin