The ulcer healing and cytoprotective properties of colloidal bismuth (De-Nol) are well established although its mode of action is unclear. We have examined the action of bismuth subcitrate, the active ingredient of De-Nol, on gastroduodenal bicarbonate secretion by isolated amphibian mucosa. Addition of bismuth subcitrate (10(-6) to 10(-4) M) to the luminal solution produced a dose dependent increase in bicarbonate secretion from both gastric and duodenal mucosae without a change in transmucosal potential difference. The magnitude of this stimulation was greater for gastric than duodenal mucosae at all dose ranges. A second bismuth salt, bismuth oxynitrate, produced similar increases in bicarbonate secretion from gastric mucosae. Pretreatment of gastric mucosa with the cyclooxygenase inhibitor, indomethacin (10(-5) and 10(-4) M), did not abolish the secretory response to bismuth subcitrate. Similar treatment with the chloride transport inhibitor, 4-acetamido-4'-isothiocyanatostilbene-2,2'-disulfonic acid (SITS) (10(-3) M) prevented the secretory response to bismuth subcitrate.
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