Table of Contents
ISRN Gastroenterology
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 612037, 9 pages
Research Article

Hemin and Zinc Protoporphyrin IX Affect Granisetron Constipating Effects In Vitro and In Vivo

Department of Biomedical Sciences and Human Oncology, Pharmacology Section, Medical School, University of Bari “Aldo Moro”, Piazza Giulio Cesare, 70124 Bari, Italy

Received 24 April 2013; Accepted 5 June 2013

Academic Editors: A. Amedei, A. J. Karayiannakis, C.-T. Shun, and C. Sperti

Copyright © 2013 Addolorata Zigrino 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.


Granisetron is a 5-HT3 receptors antagonist used in the management of emesis associated with anticancer chemotherapy. It affects intestinal motility with constipating effect. Since the pathway heme oxygenase/carbon monoxide (HO/CO) is involved in gastrointestinal motility, we evaluated the possible interplay between granisetron and agents affecting HO/CO pathways such as zinc protoporphyrin IX (ZnPPIX), an HO inhibitor, or hemin, an HO-1 inducer. ZnPPIX (10 µM) or hemin (10 µM), but not granisetron (0.1, 0.3, 1 µM), affected spontaneous basal activity recorded in rat duodenal strips, in noncholinergic nonadrenergic conditions. Granisetron restored spontaneous basal activity after ZnPPIX, but not after hemin. ZnPPIX decreased and hemin increased the inhibition of activity after electrical field stimulation (EFS), but they did not affect the contraction that follows the relaxation induced by EFS called off contraction. Granisetron did not alter the response to EFS per se but abolished both ZnPPIX and hemin effect when coadministered. In vivo study showed constipating effect of granisetron (25, 50, 75 µg/kg/sc) but no effect of either ZnPPIX (50 µg/kg/i.p.) or hemin (50 µM/kg/i.p.). When coadministered, granisetron effect was abolished by ZnPPIX and increased by hemin. Specimens from rats treated in vivo with hemin (50 µM/kg/i.p.) showed increased HO-1 protein levels. In conclusion, granisetron seems to interact with agents affecting HO/CO pathway both in vitro and in vivo.