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Tracking Gastrointestinal Transit of Solids in Aged Rats as Pharmacological Models of Chronic Dysmotility

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posted on 2023-05-03, 15:29 authored by Julie DalzielJulie Dalziel, Wayne Young, Premsyl Bercik, Nick Spencer, Leigh Ryan, Kelly Dunstan, Catherine Lloyd-West, Pramod Gopal, Neill Haggarty, Nicole Roy
Background: Dysmotility in the gastrointestinal tract (GI) often leads to impaired transit of luminal contents leading to symptoms of diarrhea or constipation. The aim of this research was to develop a technique using high resolution X-ray imaging to study pharmacologically-induced aged rat models of chronic GI dysmotility that mimic accelerated transit (diarrhea) or constipation. The 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 (5-HT4) receptor agonist prucalopride was used to accelerate transit, and the opioid agonist loperamide was used to delay transit. Methods: Male rats (18 months) were given 0, 1, 2, or 4 mg/kg/day prucalopride or loperamide (in DMSO) for seven days by continuous 7 day dosing. To determine the GI region-specific effect, transit of 6 metallic beads was tracked over 12 hours using high resolution X-ray imaging. An established rating scale was used to classify GI bead location in vivo and the distance beads had propagated from the caecum was confirmed post-mortem. Key Results: Loperamide (1 mg/kg) slowed stomach emptying and GI transit at 9 and 12 hours. Prucalopride (4 mg/kg) did not significantly alter GI transit scores, but at a dose of 4 mg/kg beads had moved significantly more distal than the caecum in 12 hours compared to controls. Conclusions & Inferences: We reveal a novel high resolution, non-invasive, X-ray imaging technique that provides new insights into GI transit rates in live rats. The results demonstrate that loperamide slowed overall transit in aged rats, while prucalopride increased stomach emptying and colonic transit.


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© 2016 The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


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Journal title

Neurogastroenterology and Motility




Dalziel, J. E., Young, W., Bercik, P., Spencer, N. J., Ryan, L. J., Dunstan, K. E., Lloyd-West, C. M., Gopal, P. K., Haggarty N. W., & Roy, N. C. (2016). Tracking gastrointestinal transit of solids in aged rats as pharmacological models of chronic dysmotility. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 28(8), 1241–1251. doi: 10.1111/nmo.12824


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