The changes of Brain-gut SP and VIP levels in the rats with functional dyspepsia and the intervention of Pingwei capsule

Xiao-Juan Du, Qian-Kun Liang, Li Zhao, Jing-jing Liang, Lan-Fang Mao, Yan-Yu Lu, Jun-Hong Liu, Hong-Fang Li, Long-De Wang


AIM: To explore the levels of substance P (SP) and vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the brain–gut axis of rats with functional dyspepsia (FD) and the intervention of Pingwei capsule.

METHODS: FD model rats were established by stimulating semi-starved rats via tail damping, provocation, and forced exercise fatigue. Then, the rats were treated with domperidone and Traditional Chinese Medicine, Pingwei capsule, for 3 weeks.The rates of the rat intestinal propulsion and gastric emptying were observed and the levels of SP and VIP were detected in serum by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay(ELISA), and in antrum, duodenum and hypothalamus by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry.

RESULTS: FD rats were less active, nervous, anxious and dysphoria, loose stool was observed, the bodyweight and food intake decreased obviously, and their intestinal propulsion and gastric emptying slowed down markedly. Molecular biological experiments showed that the mRNA and protein expressions of SP and VIP increased significantly in antrum, duodenum, and hypothalamus of FD rats, but the SP level markedly decreased in serum compared with that in the control group. Domperidone and Pingwei capsule could improve the behavioral performances and intestinal propulsion and gastric emptying , and decrease the expressions of SP and VIP in brain–gut axis of FD rats.

CONCLUSION: There appear abnormal behaviors, dysmotility gastrointestinal disorders and parasecretion of brain-gut SP and VIP in FD rats. Similarity to domperidone,  Pingwei capsule has a degree of therapeutic effects in rats with FD.


Brain-gut axis; Functional dyspepsia; Pingwei capsule; substance P; Vasoactive intestinal peptide

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