Endothelin-1, interleukin-4 and nitric oxide synthase modulators of gastric mucosal injury by indomethacin: Effect of antiulcer agents

Bronislaw Slomiany, J. Piotrowski, A. Slomiany

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Endothelin-1 (ET-1), nitric oxide, and cytokines are recognized mediators of the inflammatory processes associated with gastric mucosal injury. In this study, we investigated mucosal expression of ET-1, interleukin-4 (IL-4), and the activity of constitutive nitric oxide synthase (cNOS) during indomethacin-induced gastric mucosal injury, and evaluated the effect of antiulcer agents on this process. The experiments were conducted with groups of rats pretreated intragastrically with ranitidine (100 mg/kg), ebrotidine (100 mg/kg), sulglycotide (200 mg/kg) or vehicle, followed 30 min later by an intragastric dose of indomethacin (60 mg/kg). The animals were killed 2 h later and their mucosal tissue subjected to macroscopic damage assessment and the measurements of epithelial cell apoptosis, ET-1, IL-4, and cNOS. In the absence of antiulcer agents, indomethacin caused multiple hemorrhagic lesions and extensive epithelial cell apoptosis, accompanied by a 20.7% reduction in IL-4, a 3.1-fold increase in mucosal expression of ET-1 and a 4.2-fold decline in cNOS. Pretreatment with H2-receptor antagonist, ranitidine produced a 15.7% reduction in the mucosal damage caused by indomethacin, 29.5% decrease in epithelial cell apoptosis and a 19.6% reduction in ET-1, while the expression of IL-4 increased by 10.8% and that of cNOS showed a 2-fold increase. The H2-blocker, ebrotidine, also known for its gastroprotective effects, reduced the indomethacin-induced lesions by 90.2%, epithelial cell apoptosis decreased by 61% and ET-1 showed a 58.2% decline, while IL-4 increased by 30.6% and that of cNOS showed a 3.1-fold increase. Pretreatment with gastroprotective agent, sulglycotide, led to a 51.2% reduction in the extent of mucosal damage caused by indomethacin, a 43.9% decrease in apoptosis, and a 63.5% decrease in ET-1 While the expression of cNOS increased by 3.4-fold and the level of IL-4 showed a 32.2% increase. The results suggest that an increase in vasoconstrictive ET-1 level combined with a decrease in regulatory cytokine, IL-4, and a loss of compensatory action by cNOS may be responsible for gastric mucosal injury caused by indomethacin. Our findings also point to a value of ebrotidine and sulglycotide in countering the untoward gastrointestinal side effects of NSAID therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)197-210
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Physiology and Pharmacology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1999

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Pharmacology


  • CNOS
  • ET-1
  • Ebrotidine
  • Gastric mucosa
  • IL- 4
  • Indomethacin
  • Injury
  • Ranitidine
  • Sulglycotide


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