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ENDOGENOUS PROSTAGLANDINS SENSITISE THE “NEURAL EMERGENCY SYSTEM” IN THE STOMACH

The afferent neurones of the gastric mucosa are known to respond to noxious chemicals such as ethanol in a protective way and form the “neural emergency system”. The release of the vasodilatory peptide calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP) from these nerves ameliorates the impairment of mucosal blood flow that alcohol and other noxious agents induce. The paper by Arai et al in this issue using a range of pharmacological manipulations in wild type and prostaglandin I2 (prostacyclin) receptor knock-out animals now add to our knowledge by showing that endogenous prostaglandin enhance this neural emergency system. Furthermore it seems that prostaglandin I2 is the most important of the prostaglandins since prostaglandin I receptor knock-out mice do not demonstrate the protective action of capsaicin.See page 1242

HOW H PYLORI INTERACTS WITH EPITHELIAL CELLS TO MODULATE THE IMMUNE RESPONSE

The control of T cell proliferation and activity in Helicobacter pylori induced gastritis is poorly characterised. The paper by Futagami et al demonstrates in vitro that H pylori extracts stimulate gastric epithelial cells to express cytokines, and that these activate T …

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