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Increased Tone of the Human Colon Muscle by Bisacodyl In Vitro
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Although bisacodyl is a widely administered laxative, its underlying mechanism of action remains generally unknown. This study focuses on investigating the effects of bisacodyl on the human colon muscle contraction, and elucidating its mechanism of action. Methods Sigmoid colon muscle strips (20 longitudinal and 18 circular muscles) were obtained from 20 subjects who underwent colectomy for colon cancer. Isometric force measurements were calculated in response to electrical field stimulation (EFS, 0.3 milliseconds in trains of 10 Hz for 20 seconds, 150 V). Peak and nadir (tone) during and after EFS, were measured in a controlled state, and after sequential addition of bisacodyl (1 mu M), atropine (1 mu M), N-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA, 100 mu M), MRS2500 (1 mu M), and tetrodotoxin (TTX, 1 mu M) to the organ bath. Results Transient phasic contractions were observed during EFS, and after cessation of EFS. In the longitudinal muscles, nadir during EFS, and tone after EFS, significantly increased after addition of bisacodyl, and persisted after sequential addition of atropine, L-NNA, MRS2500, and TTX, indicating a direct action of bisacodyl on the smooth muscle. In the second experiment, pretreatment of TTX abolished EFS-induced phasic contractions. Although no phasic contraction was produced after perfusion of bisacodyl, tone was increased, thereby supporting evidence of a direct mechanism of action of bisacodyl on the colon smooth muscle. Conclusions Bisacodyl increases the tone of longitudinal muscle in the human sigmoid colon through a direct action on the smooth muscle. Further study is warranted to investigate the neural mechanism of action of bisacodyl.