Gastric microcirculatory disturbances are involved in the ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage. In this study in humans we evaluated the time course of plasma and gastric mucosal endothelin-1 (ET-1) concentrations after intragastric ethanol administration; furthermore we determined the correlation among changes in gastric tissue endothelin-1 and microscopic and gross gastric hemorrhagic damage. ET-1 concentrations in plasma and gastric mucosa were measured by radioimmunoassay. The endoscopic appearance of the gastric mucosa was evaluated and scored on a scale of 0-5, and gastric biopsies for histological evaluation were obtained from the antral and the corpus mucosa just before and 30 min after 40% ethanol administration in seven healthy volunteers. Plasma ET-1 concentration increased as soon as 20 min after ethanol administration, reached a significant peak at 30 min (P <0.01), and returned to near basal level within 120 min. Gastric mucosal ET-1 concentration significantly increased 30 min after ethanol administration in both the body (P <0.05) and the antrum (P <0.05) of the stomach; however the ET-1 increase was significantly higher in the body. Moreover, data obtained 30 min after ethanol administration showed a significant correlation between gastric mucosal ET-1 levels and gross hemorrhagic damage (r = 0.84). A significant correlation was also observed between antral gastric mucosal ET-1 and microscopic lesions (r = 0.70). We conclude that 40% ethanol, given orally, stimulates the release of gastric mucosal endothelin-1 and causes a rapid and time-dependent increase of ET-1 plasma level in humans. The increased plasma and gastric tissue endothelin-1 concentration may play a role in ethanol-induced gastric hemorrhagic injury in humans.
- Gastric damage
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