Endogenous prostaglandins (PGs) play an important role in the cytoprotective and healing responses in the stomach, by altering various functions, i.e., an increase of the mucosal blood flow, yet the role of prostacyclin (PGI2) and its receptor (IP-receptor) in these responses remains unclarified. In the present study, we used IP-receptor knockout mice [IP (-/-)] and examined the importance of IP-receptors in gastric ulcerogenic, cytoprotective and healing responses in these animals. The studies included the ulcerogenic response to cold-restraint stress, the cytoprotective response to a mild irritant (20 mM taurocholate: TC) and capsaicin, and the healing response of chronic gastric ulcers induced by thermo-cauterization. We first checked the absence of IP-receptors by examining the effect of cicaprost (a PGI2 agonist, topical mucosal application) on gastric mucosal blood flow and found that this agent increased the mucosal blood flow in wild-type [WT (+/+)] mice but not in IP (+/-) mice. Cold-restraint stress (4 h) induced gastric lesions in both groups of mice, but the severity of damage was significantly greater in IP (-/-) mice. Prior p.o. administration of both TC and capsaicin exhibited a marked cytoprotection against HCl/ethanol-induced gastric damage in WT (+/+) mice, both responses being significantly mitigated in the presence of indomethacin. The adaptive cytoprotection induced by TC was similarly observed in IP (-/-) mice, while the capsaicin protection was totally attenuated in the animals lacking IP receptors. On the other hand, the healing of gastric ulcers was significantly delayed by daily administration of indomethacin in WT (+/+) mice. However, this process was not altered in IP (-/-) mice. These results suggest that endogenous PGI2 is involved in the gastric ulcerogenic response to stress, but not in the healing of pre-existing gastric ulcers. In addition, PGI2 and its receptors may play a crucial role in capsaicin-induced gastric protection but not in the adaptive cytoprotection-induced by mild irritants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physiology (medical)