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Chronic Constipation in Women Linked to Prostaglandins

Motility inhibition associated with levels of prostaglandin and COX enzymes

MONDAY, Aug. 20 (HealthDay News) -- Women with chronic constipation due to slow transit have abnormal muscle tissue levels of prostaglandin and cyclooxygenase enzymes that may be responsible for the condition, researchers report in the August issue of Gastroenterology.

Ping Cong, M.D., of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues compared samples of circular colonic muscle tissue from eight women with slow transit constipation (aged 41-64) to tissue samples of eight women with no history of constipation (aged 57-69). After analysis, the normal cell samples were subjected to progesterone treatment for six hours to determine if abnormalities observed in the patient samples would be duplicated.

Motility abnormalities were associated with lower TxA2 and PGF2α and higher PGE2 levels in the patient samples than controls. The patient samples also demonstrated lower COX-1 protein expression and higher COX-2 protein expression than control samples. These abnormalities were successfully reproduced in the normal tissue cells after progesterone treatment.

"In summary, the results of the present studies are consistent with our previous observations that female patients with slow transit constipation have significant muscle abnormalities that could be explained by an overexpression of nuclear progesterone receptors," the authors conclude.

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