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, 45 (3), 614-20

Aging Enhances Susceptibility of Diclofenac-Treated Rats to Gastric Ulceration, While Attenuating Enteropathy

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Aging Enhances Susceptibility of Diclofenac-Treated Rats to Gastric Ulceration, While Attenuating Enteropathy

C R Atchison et al. Dig Dis Sci.

Abstract

Although clinical reports note aging and gender as risk factors for NSAID therapy associated gastroenteropathy, neither variable has been examined in an animal model. We addressed this unknown by comparing the responses of young (4 months) and old (22 months) rats of both genders to oral treatment with diclofenac (10 or 50 mg/kg). Diclofenac produced gastric ulcers only in old rats, with markedly larger lesions in females. In contrast, the small intestines in old rats of both genders given the 50 mg/kg dosage had >30% fewer ulcers and a fourfold decrease in area of ulceration compared to young rats. The small intestine was the only site of lesions after the 10 mg/kg dosage and showed one gender influence, namely, a transiently faster time course of ulcer development in females. Old and young rats given 50 mg/kg showed similar declines in serum levels of the vascular permeability indices-total protein and albumin-despite reduced intestinal damage in the old animals, which suggests additive vascular leakage across the gastric lesions that were evident only in old animals. Serum biochemistry showed no evidence of hepatotoxicity or dysfunction, consonant with small intestine as the primary target for diclofenac toxicity in rats. We provide the first experimental evidence for an aging influence on the gastrointestinal target site of a nonaspirin NSAID.

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