2010 Volume 113 Issue 2 Pages 134-142
A multitarget herbal preparation, STW 5, has been used clinically in different gastro-intestinal disorders including functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. Previous studies have shown that it possesses properties that may render it useful in gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). We performed this study to test this compound in an acute model of reflux oesophagitis in rats. Oesophagitis was induced surgically by ligating the pyloric end and fore-stomach. Lower oesophageal pH was measured 3 h later in conscious animals. Five hours after surgery, animals were sacrificed and the oesophagi were examined macroscopically and histologically. Selected markers of inflammation were measured in oesophageal homogenates. STW 5 was given orally for 5 days before induction of oesophagitis. Pantoprazole was used as a reference standard. Ligated animals showed a high incidence of ulcerative lesions associated with a marked increase in myeloperoxidase, thiobarbituric acid–reactive substances, tumor necrosis factor-α, and interleukin-1β. STW 5 did not affect oesophageal pH, but dose-dependently reduced the severity of the oesophageal lesions and normalized the deranged level of the inflammation markers. The beneficial effects were confirmed histopathologically. STW 5 proved to be effective in protecting against inflammatory lesions in this model of oesophagitis, thus warranting further investigation of its potential therapeutic usefulness in GERD.