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Comparative Study
, 59 (4), 284-97

Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide Protects Gastric Mucosa Against Acute Injury in Rats by Activation of Genes for Cyclooxygenases and Endogenous Prostaglandins

Comparative Study

Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide Protects Gastric Mucosa Against Acute Injury in Rats by Activation of Genes for Cyclooxygenases and Endogenous Prostaglandins

P C Konturek et al. Digestion.


Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) derived from gram-negative bacteria were reported to impair gastrointestinal mucosal integrity, but the results obtained are controversial. This study was undertaken to determine the effects of short-term administration of LPS on gastric secretion and gastric damage induced by 100% ethanol and to assess the role of the gene expression of two isoforms of cyclooxygenase (COX), constitutive (COX-1) and inducible (COX-2), and endogenous prostaglandins (PG) on these effects of LPS. Fasted rats received vehicle (control) or LPS (0.1-40 mg/kg i.g. or i.p.) without or with pretreatment with nonselective inhibitors of COX activity, indomethacin (5 mg/kg i.p.) and meloxicam (2 mg/kg i.g.), or the selective COX-2 inhibitor NS-398 (10 mg/kg i.g.), followed by intragastric application of 100% ethanol. The area of gastric lesions was determined by planimetry, gastric blood flow (GBF) was measured by the H2-gas clearance technique, mucosal PGE2 generation was measured by radioimmunoassay, and expression of COX-1 and COX-1 mRNA was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), quantitative RT-PCR with [32P]dCTP and immunohistochemistry. LPS applied intraperitoneally in various doses (0.1-10 mg/kg), dose dependently inhibited gastric acid and pepsin secretion and significantly reduced the area of gastric lesions induced by ethanol, and this was accompanied by an attenuation of the ethanol-induced fall in GBF and increased mucosal generation of PGE2. LPS applied in higher doses, such as 20 or 40 mg/kg, that caused systemic hypotension failed to protect the mucosa against 100% ethanol. Suppression of mucosal PGE2 generation by indomethacin or meloxicam, significantly reduced the inhibitory action of LPS on gastric secretion and abolished LPS-induced gastroprotection and elevation of GBF. NS-398 did not influence PGE2 generation, but significantly attenuated the protection and hyperemia induced by LPS suggesting that COX-2-derived products play an important role in gastroprotection. The expression of COX-1 mRNA, as determined by RT-PCR, quantitative RT-PCR and immunohistochemistry was found in intact gastric mucosa and after LPS administration. In contrast, the expression of COX-2 mRNA was undetectable in intact gastric mucosa but appeared in this mucosa 2, 4 and 8 h after LPS administration. COX-2 mRNA was not detected in rats treated with ethanol but, when LPS was applied before ethanol, the enhanced expression of COX-2 was detected without affecting COX-1 mRNA expression. We conclude that acute parenteral LPS affords gastroprotection against ethanol-damage through an increase in gastric microcirculation and overexpression of COX-2 and enhanced endogenous PG release.

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