The effect of octreotide, a synthetic analogue of somatostatin, on the modulation of the acetic acid model of experimental colitis was examined. Colitis was induced by intracolonic administration of 2 ml of 5% acetic acid. The inflammatory response elicited by the acetic acid resulted in increased colonic synthesis of platelet activating factor, leukotriene B4 and decreased mucosal somatostatin levels. Subcutaneous administration of octreotide (10 micrograms/rat) 1 hour before or immediately after damage induction, as well as 1 and 23 hours after acetic acid application, resulted in a significant reduction in mucosal damage. The protective effect was accompanied by a significant reduction in platelet activating factor activity, leukotriene B4, and vasoactive intestinal peptide concentrations. There were no significant changes in mucosal leukotriene C4 and calcitonin gene related peptide levels. This study shows that acetic acid induced colitis is pharmacologically manipulated by octreotide. The mechanism of action of octreotide has not yet been fully determined. The potential use of octreotide in treating active inflammatory bowel disease remains to be evaluated.
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