J Neurogastroenterol Motil  
The Protective Effect of Melissa officinalis L. in Visceral Hypersensitivity in Rat Using 2 Models of Acid-induced Colitis and Stress-induced Irritable Bowel Syndrome: A Possible Role of Nitric Oxide Pathway
Fatemeh Dolatabadi,1 Amir H Abdolghaffari,2,3,4 Mohammad H Farzaei,5,6 Maryam Baeeri,3 Fatemeh S Ziarani,7 Majid Eslami,3 Mohammad Abdollahi,3 and Roja Rahimi8*
1Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 2Medicinal Plants Research Center, Institute of Medicinal Plants, ACECR, Karaj, Iran; 3Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology and Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Faculty of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran; 4Gastrointestinal Pharmacology Interest Group (GPIG), Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN), Tehran, Iran; 5Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center and 6Medical Biology Research Center, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran; 7Department of Anatomy, School of Medicine, Ghazvin University of Medical Sciences, Ghazvin, Iran; and 8Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Correspondence to: Roja Rahimi, MD
Department of Traditional Pharmacy, School of Traditional Medicine, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Tel: +98-21-88990835, Fax: +98-21-88990835, E-mail: rojarahimi@gmail.com
Fatemeh Dolatabadi and Amir H Abdolghaffari contributed equally in this work.
Received: March 6, 2017; Revised: November 25, 2017; Accepted: January 21, 2018; Published online: June 4, 2018.
© The Korean Society of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. All rights reserved.

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Abstract
Background/Aims
The aim of present study is to estimate the effects of Melissa officinalis L. (MO) on visceral hypersensitivity (VH), defecation pattern and biochemical factors in 2 experimental models of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and the possible role of nitric oxide.
Methods
Two individual models of IBS were induced in male Wistar-albino rats. In the acetic acid model, the animals were exposed to rectal distension and abdominal withdrawal reflex, and the defecation patterns were determined. In the restraint stress model, the colons of rats were removed and the levels of TNF-α, myeloperoxidase, lipid peroxidation, and antioxidant powers were determined. Rats had been treated with MO, L-NG-nitroarginine methyl ester (L-NAME), aminoguanidine (AG), MO + AG, or MO + L-NAME in the mentioned experimental models.
Results
Hypersensitive response to rectal distension and more stool defecation in control rats have been observed in comparison to shams. MO-300 significantly reduced VH and defecation frequency in comparison to controls. VH and defecation pattern did not show significant change in AG + MO and L-NAME + MO groups compared to controls. Also, significant reduction in TNF-α, myeloperoxidase, TBARS, and an increase in antioxidant power in MO-300 was recorded compared to controls. AG + MO and L-NAME + MO groups showed a reverse pattern compared to MO-300.
Conclusions
MO can ameliorate IBS by modulating VH and defecation patterns. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties along with its effect on the nitrergic pathway seems to play important roles in its pharmacological activity.
Keywords: Irritable bowel syndrome; Lemon balm; Melissa officinalis; Nitric oxide; Visceral hypersensitivity


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