Biological and Pharmaceutical Bulletin
Online ISSN : 1347-5215
Print ISSN : 0918-6158
ISSN-L : 0918-6158
Some Gastrointestinal Function Regulatory Kampo Medicines Have Modulatory Effects on Human Plasma Adrenocorticotropic Hormone and Cortisol Levels with Continual Stress Exposure
Takafumi NaitoHiroki ItohMasaharu Takeyama
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2003 Volume 26 Issue 1 Pages 101-104


Rikkunshi-to, a gastrointestinal function regulatory traditional Chinese herbal (Kampo) medicine, has recently been evaluated for its clinical usefulness in stress and depression. This medicine has modulatory effects on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and autonomic nervous function. We examined the effect of Rikkunshi-to and the other gastrointestinal function regulatory Kampo medicines, Hange-shashin-to, Hange-koboku-to, and Ninjin-to, on the plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol under stress conditions by repetitive blood sampling. Rikkunshi-to, Hange-shashin-to, and Hange-koboku-to significantly suppressed increases in plasma ACTH-immunoreactive substance (IS) levels compared with the response to a placebo. Rikkunshi-to and Hange-shashin-to significantly suppressed increases in plasma cortisol levels compared with the response to placebo. Ninjin-to had no significant effect on plasma ACTH-IS and cortisol levels. In this study, Rikkunshi-to, Hange-shashin-to, and Hange-koboku-to (partially) regulated plasma ACTH and cortisol levels under stress. These modulatory effects might be beneficial in stress-related disease and suggest that these medicines have clinical pharmacologic activity.

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© 2003 The Pharmaceutical Society of Japan
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