Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 385, Issue 4, pp 411–421 | Cite as

Adenosine A2A receptor contributes to the anti-inflammatory effect of the fixed herbal combination STW 5 (Iberogast®) in rat small intestinal preparations

  • Sebastian Michael
  • Heba Abdel-Aziz
  • Dieter Weiser
  • Christa E. Müller
  • Olaf Kelber
  • Karen NieberEmail author
Original Article


STW 5 (Iberogast®), an established herbal combination, was effective in randomized, double blind clinical studies in functional dyspepsia and irritable bowel syndrome. Since STW 5 was found to influence intestinal motility and has anti-inflammatory properties, this study investigated the expression of adenosine receptors and characterized their role in the control of the anti-inflammatory action of STW 5 and its fresh plant component STW 6 in inflammation-disturbed rat small intestinal preparations. The inflammation was induced by intraluminal instillation of 2,4,6-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS, 0.01 M). The effects of coincubation with selective receptor agonists and antagonists, STW 5, STW 6, or combinations of these compounds on acetylcholine (ACh)-evoked contraction of ileum/jejunum preparations were tested. Adenosine receptor mRNA expression was examined by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In untreated preparations, RT-PCR revealed the presence of all adenosine receptor subtypes. Suppressed expression was detected for all subtypes in inflamed tissues, except for A2BR mRNA, which was unaffected. STW 5 reversed these effects and enhanced A2AR expression above control levels. Radioligand binding assays confirm the affinity of STW 5 to the A2AR, and the A2AR antagonist was able to prevent the effect of STW 5 on TNBS-induced attenuation of the ACh contraction. Our findings provide evidence that STW 5, but not STW 6 interacts with A2AR, which is involved in the anti-inflammatory action of STW 5. STW 6 did not contribute to adenosine A2AR-mediated anti-inflammatory effect of STW 5. Other signaling pathways could be involved in the mechanism of action of STW 6.


Iberogast Inflammation Adenosine receptors TNFα Isometric contraction TNBS 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sebastian Michael
    • 1
  • Heba Abdel-Aziz
    • 2
  • Dieter Weiser
    • 2
  • Christa E. Müller
    • 3
  • Olaf Kelber
    • 2
  • Karen Nieber
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.Löwen-ApothekeWaldheimGermany
  2. 2.Scientific DepartmentSteigerwald Arzneimittelwerk GmbHDarmstadtGermany
  3. 3.PharmaCenter Bonn, Pharmaceutical Institute, Pharmaceutical Chemistry IUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  4. 4.Institute of Pharmacy, Pharmacology for Natural SciencesUniversity of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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