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