The effect of smoking three cigarettes on the release of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) by the gastric mucosa was studied in seven healthy smokers. Smoking caused the expected increases in pulse rate, blood pressure, plasma glucose, and carboxyhaemoglobin. In addition, smoking resulted in a significant (p less than 0.05) reduction in the volume of pentagastrin stimulated gastric juice from 76.1 +/- 4.4 to 54.1 +/- 4.6 ml/15 min and PGE2 output from 22.8 +/- 4.9 to 12.2 +/- 3.8 ng/15 min but did not alter acid output. It is concluded that smoking reduces the amount of PGE2 in the gastric lumen and that this may explain why it is a risk factor for peptic ulcer.
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