Because endogenous prostaglandins may protect the gastric mucosa a study was conducted to determine factors influencing the synthesis of immunoreactive prostaglandin (iPG) E2 and thromboxane (iTx) B2 as measured by radioimmunoassay and prostaglandin catabolism measured radiometrically, in human gastric mucosa. Gastric mucosa was obtained at endoscopy. Synthesis of iPE2 and iTxB2 was inhibited in vitro by indomethacin; iTxB2 synthesis was also selectively inhibited by the thromboxane synthesis inhibitor dazmegrel. Prostaglandin catabolism was inhibited by carbenoxolone. Multivariate analysis showed that synthesis of iPGE2 from endogenous precursor during homogenisation was decreased in patients on non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Mucosal inflammation was associated with significantly increased synthesis of iPGE2 and decreased prostaglandin catabolism. There were no differences between the mucosa of patients with or without gastric ulcers, nor between the ulcer rim and mucosa 5 cm away. Age, sex, smoking history and ingestion of antisecretory drugs appeared to exert no influence. In this study gastritis was the major influence on prostaglandin synthesis. It seems unlikely that prostaglandin deficiency is a strong predisposing factor for gastric ulceration.
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