Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5;109(23):9179-84. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109. Epub 2012 May 21.

Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Max-Planck-Institute for Heart and Lung Research, 61231 Bad Nauheim, Germany.

Abstract

Castor oil is one of the oldest drugs. When given orally, it has a laxative effect and induces labor in pregnant females. The effects of castor oil are mediated by ricinoleic acid, a hydroxylated fatty acid released from castor oil by intestinal lipases. Despite the wide-spread use of castor oil in conventional and folk medicine, the molecular mechanism by which ricinoleic acid acts remains unknown. Here we show that the EP(3) prostanoid receptor is specifically activated by ricinoleic acid and that it mediates the pharmacological effects of castor oil. In mice lacking EP(3) receptors, the laxative effect and the uterus contraction induced via ricinoleic acid are absent. Although a conditional deletion of the EP(3) receptor gene in intestinal epithelial cells did not affect castor oil-induced diarrhea, mice lacking EP(3) receptors only in smooth-muscle cells were unresponsive to this drug. Thus, the castor oil metabolite ricinoleic acid activates intestinal and uterine smooth-muscle cells via EP(3) prostanoid receptors. These findings identify the cellular and molecular mechanism underlying the pharmacological effects of castor oil and indicate a role of the EP(3) receptor as a target to induce laxative effects.

PMID:
22615395
PMCID:
PMC3384204
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1201627109
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center