Inhibitory effect of caffeic acid phenethyl ester, a plant-derived polyphenolic compound, on rat intestinal contractility

Gabriella Aviello, Caterina Scalisi, Rosaria Fileccia, Raffaele Capasso, Barbara Romano, Angelo A Izzo, Francesca Borrelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Caffeic acid phenethyl ester (CAPE) exerts pharmacological actions (e.g. anti-inflammatory, chemopreventive) which are relevant for potential clinical application in the digestive tract. However, no study has been published on its possible effects on intestinal motility, to date. In the present study, we investigated the effect of this plant-derived polyphenolic compound on the spontaneous contractions of the rat isolated ileum. CAPE reduced (in a tetrodotoxin-insensitive manner) spontaneous ileal contractions and this effect was reduced by the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine and the chelant of calcium ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid. However, the effect of CAPE was not modified by a number of inhibitors/antagonists such as of phentolamine plus propranolol, atropine, tetrodotoxin, cyclopiazonic acid, omega-conotoxin, apamin, NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester, 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, 9-(tetrahydro-2-furanyl)-9H-purin-6-amine, 1H-[1,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-a]quinoxalin-1-one or a combination of SR 140333, SR48968 and SR142801. In conclusion our study shows that (i) CAPE relaxed myogenic contractions of rat ileum and that (ii) this effect occurs, at least in part, throughout a mechanism involving L-type Ca2+ channels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-7
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1-3
Early online date6 May 2010
Publication statusPublished - 25 Aug 2010

Bibliographical note

This study was in part supported by the Regione Campania and the ‘Fondazione Enrico and Enrica Sovena’


  • Animals
  • Caffeic Acids
  • Flavonoids
  • Ileum
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle Relaxation
  • Phenols
  • Phenylethyl Alcohol
  • Plants
  • Polyphenols
  • Potassium Chloride
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Journal Article


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