Study Title:

Gastric barrier function and toxic damage.

Study Abstract

Gastric epithelium is the first significant barrier between the inner body and the potentially toxic material in the lumen. Nutrients affect gastric barrier continuously--alcohol, coffee, spices, salted food, etc. Also, very potent noxious agents are widely prescribed drugs--nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Helicobacter pylori is a well-known and well-investigated pathogen associated with serious gastric damage and gastric carcinoma. For its defense and maintenance of homeostasis and integrity, except acid secretion and maintenance of low luminal pH, gastric mucosa also has a specific structure, and its function is influenced by different control mechanisms. These include control of mucosal blood flow, control of mucus and bicarbonate secretion, constant cell renewal, and neuronal and hormonal control of defense mechanisms. These mechanisms are mediated by prostaglandins, nitric oxide, growth factors, heat-shock proteins and a neuropeptide called calcitonin gene-related protein. Adrenal glucocorticoids and the central nervous system also play an important role in regulating gastro-protection, especially hypothalamus and the dorsal vagal complex. Gastric mucosa is also an important component of the body's immune system and gut-associated lymphoid tissue which serves as the initiation site for antigen-specific humoral and cell-mediated immune response. Treatment options for gastric barrier dysfunction and damage due to aforementioned noxious agents are guided by the nature of damage and our understanding of the pathophysiological mechanisms involved. Currently, management is guideline driven and depends upon eradication treatment in patients infected with H. pylori and treatment or prevention of aspirin or NSAID ulceration.

Study Information

Dig Dis. 2014;32(3):235-42. doi: 10.1159/000357855. Epub 2014 Apr 10. PMID: 24732189.

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