Linaclotide - A secretagogue and antihyperalgesic agent - What next?

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23 Scopus citations


Ongoing clinical trials suggest that linaclotide, a first-in-class, 14-amino acid peptide guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) receptor agonist and intestinal secretagogue is an effective treatment for chronic constipation. A study in this issue of the Journal suggests that linaclotide also has antihyperalgesic effects in three common rat models of inflammation- and stress-induced hypersensitivity (i.e., acute trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid colitis, water avoidance stress [WAS], and restraint-induced stress) but not in naïve animals. In mice, linaclotide at least partly reduces hyperalgesia via GC-C receptors. Dose-effect relationships of linaclotide were complicated and non-linear. This viewpoint discusses human clinical trials with linaclotide and the results of this study. Potential mechanisms and clinical significance of these findings are explored. Collectively, these data suggest that GC-C receptors exert other, as yet poorly understood, effects on gastrointestinal sensitivity in conditions associated with inflammation and/or stress-induced increased intestinal permeability. However, the data need to be confirmed in humans and in long-term animal models. Further studies are also necessary to elucidate the mechanisms as these effects cannot be explained by linaclotide's known effects on epithelial GC-C receptors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-231
Number of pages5
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2010


  • Colorectal distension
  • Functional bowel disorders
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • ST enterotoxin receptor
  • Visceral hypersensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Gastroenterology


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