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Role of gastric blood flow, neutrophil infiltration, and mucosal cell proliferation in gastric adaptation to aspirin in the rat.
  1. S J Konturek,
  2. T Brzozowski,
  3. J Stachura,
  4. A Dembinski,
  5. J Majka
  1. Institute of Physiology, Jagiellonian University School of Medicine, Krakow, Poland.


    Gastric mucosa exhibits the ability to adapt to ulcerogenic action of aspirin but the mechanism of this phenomenon is unknown. In this study, acute gastric lesions were produced by single or repeated doses of acidified aspirin in rats with intact or resected salivary glands and with intact or suppressed synthase of nitric oxide. A single oral dose of aspirin produced a dose dependent increase in gastric lesions accompanied by considerable blood neutrophilia and mucosal neutrophil infiltration, significant reduction in gastric blood flow, and almost complete suppression of biosynthesis of prostaglandins. After rechallenge with aspirin, the mucosal damage became smaller and progressively declined with repeated aspirin insults. Gastric adaptation to aspirin was accompanied by a significant rise in gastric blood flow, reduction in both blood neutrophilia and mucosal neutrophil infiltration, and a remarkable increase in mucosal cell regeneration and mucosal content of epidermal growth factor. Salivectomy, which reduced the mucosal content of epidermal growth factor, aggravated the initial mucosal damage induced by the first exposure to acidified aspirin but did not prevent the adaptation of this mucosa to repeated aspirin insults. Pretreatment with NG-nitro-L-arginine (L-NNA), a specific inhibitor of nitric oxide synthase, eliminated the hyperaemic response to repeated aspirin but did not abolish the development of adaptation to aspirin showing that the maintenance of the gastric blood flow plays little part in this adaptation. In conclusion, the stomach adapts readily to repeated aspirin insults and this is accompanied by a considerable reduction in blood neutrophilia and the severity of neutrophil infiltration and by an extensive proliferation of mucosal cells possibly involving epidermal growth factor.

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