Synthesis of prostaglandins (PGE2, PGI2 and PGF2 alpha) and thromboxane A2 was investigated in short term incubates of duodenal mucosa biopsies. Mucosa close to the ulcer site synthesised significantly less PGF2 alpha (p less than 0.001) and PGI2 (p less than 0.002) measured as its stable metabolite 6-oxo-PGF1 alpha than healthy mucosa from non-ulcer patients. In paired biopsies taken from the ulcer site and opposite the ulcer in the same patient PGF2 alpha and PGI2 syntheses were both significantly and similarly depressed when compared with normal mucosa. Synthesis of PGE2 and TxA2 (as its stable metabolite TxB2) was not different in any tissue. There is a defect in the ability of the human duodenal mucosa in duodenal ulcer disease to synthesise PGF2 alpha and PGI2; the defect is not limited to the ulcer site.
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