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Pharmacological Characterisation of Plant Saponins and Nontoxic Peptides from Spider Venom that Modeulate Gastrintestinal Motility

Project Member(s): Nicholson, G.

Start year: 2002

Summary: Impaired gastrointestinal motility can be the result of many diseases or surgical procedures including diabetes, obesity, irritable bowel syndrome, postoperative ileus, chronic consipation and gastroesophageal reflux disease. So-called prokinetic drugs, that increase gastrointestinal motility, unfortunately do not provide impressive relief in advanced cases and are not without side-effects. This study aims to isolate and characterise nontoxic peptides from spider venom, that aid in prey digestion, and saponins isolated from herbal medicines, that increase gut motility. Using organ bath pharmacology, we seek to identify the mechanisms of action of these natural products to increase gastrointestinal muscle contractility. This study will provide stucture-activity information for the development of lead compounds or novel prokinetic drugs to treat clinical disorders involving poor gastrointestinal motility.