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Rikkunshito and Ghrelin Secretion

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 31 ]


Hiroshi Takeda, Shuichi Muto, Koji Nakagawa, Shunsuke Ohnishi and Masahiro Asaka   Pages 4827 - 4838 ( 12 )


Rikkunshito is a kampo herbal medicine which is widely used in Japan for the treatment of the upper gastrointestinal symptoms of patients with functional dyspepsia (FD), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), dyspeptic symptoms of postgastrointestinal surgery patients, and chemotherapy-induced dyspepsia in cancer patients. Recently, very unique characteristics of rikkunshito have been unveiled; oral administration of rikkunshito potentiates orexigenic action of ghrelin through several different mechanisms. In addition, several lines of evidence obtained from both animal and human studies indicate that rikkunshito can be an attractive and promising therapeutic option for the anorectic conditions including cisplatin-induced dyspepsia, anorexia of aging, stress-induced hypophagia, cancer cachexia-anorexia syndrome. In this review, we will highlight what is known about the orexigenic effect of rikkunshito with a special focus on an interaction with ghrelin signaling system.


Rikkunshito, ghrelin, GHSR1a, serotonin 2B-receptor, serotonin 2C-receptor, phosphodiesterase 3, carboxylesterase, butyrylcholinesterase, functional dyspepsia (FD), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).


Department of Pathophysiology and Therapeutics, Division of Pharmasciences, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Hokkaido University, N12 W6, Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 060-0812, Japan.

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