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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 619465, 14 pages
Research Article

Rhubarb Tannins Extract Inhibits the Expression of Aquaporins 2 and 3 in Magnesium Sulphate-Induced Diarrhoea Model

1Institute of Chinese Materia Medica, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 16, Nanxiaojie, Dongzhimennei, Beijing 100700, China
2Fujian University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, No. 1, Huatuo Road, Minhoushangjie, Fuzhou 350122, China

Received 19 May 2014; Revised 14 July 2014; Accepted 21 July 2014; Published 18 August 2014

Academic Editor: Paul M. Tulkens

Copyright © 2014 Chunfang Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Tannins, a group of major active components of Chinese rhubarb and widely distributed in nature, have a significant antidiarrhoeal activity. Aquaporins (AQPs) 2 and 3 play important roles in regulating water transfer during diarrhoea. The present study aims to determine the effect of the total tannins extract of rhubarb on aquaporins (AQPs) 2 and 3 in diarrhoea mice and HT-29 cells both induced by magnesium sulphate (MgSO4). Our results showed that rhubarb tannins extract (RTE) significantly decreased the faecal water content in colon and evaluation index of defecation of diarrhoea mice. Interestingly, RTE could markedly reduce the mRNA and protein expression levels of AQPs 2 and 3 in apical and lateral mucosal epithelial cells in the colons of diarrhoea mice and HT-29 cells both induced by MgSO4 in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, RTE suppressed the production of cyclic monophosphate- (cAMP-) dependent protein kinase A catalytic subunits α (PKA C-α) and phosphorylated cAMP response element-binding protein (p-CREB, Ser133) in MgSO4-induced HT-29 cells. Our data showed for the first time that RTE inhibit AQPs 2 and 3 expression in vivo and in vitro via downregulating PKA/p-CREB signal pathway, which accounts for the antidiarrhoeal effect of RTE.