Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used as anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents. However, they often cause gastrointestinal injury in gastric lesions by inhibiting COX (cyclooxygenase) and detailed mechanism remains unclear. Thus, effective strategies are required to protect the gastrointestinal mucosa.
A research article published on February 28, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology addresses this question. The research team led by Dr. Choi from Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine investigated the protective effects of acupuncture against NSAID-induced ulceration in a rat model.
In their study, 72 rats were randomly divided into three groups including control (administered with distilled water), ASA group (administered 100 mg/kg ASA) and EA group (administered EA + 100 mg/kg ASA). Each rat was fasted for 18 to 24hours before experimentation, and lesion scores, gastric acidity, cyclooxygenase (COX)-1 and -2 mRNA levels, and total nitric oxide (NO) concentration were measured.
They found that the lesion scores of the EA group were significantly lower than those of the NSAID-induced ulceration group. Gastric acidity of NSAID-induced ulceration group and EA group was reduced as compared to the control group. COX-1 and -2 mRNA levels were significantly increased in the EA group as compared to the control and NSAID-induced ulceration group, and NO levels were also significantly increased in the EA group as compared to the NSAID-induced ulceration group.
The inducible expression of COX-1 in the early phase and COX-2 in the late phase suggests that EA pretreatment might up-regulate the mucosal defense mechanism. The total NO concentration in the EA group was significantly increased with respect to that of the NSAID-induced ulceration group. The total NO likely protected the gastric mucosa against NSAID-induced toxicity. In conclusion, EA-mediated protection against ASA-induced ulceration in rats may occur via gastric defense components.
By understanding the time-dependent expression of COX by EA pretreatment, this study may represent a future strategy for acupuncture therapeutic intervention in the treatment of patients with gastritis by Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Reference: Hwang HS, Han KJ, Ryu YH, Yang EJ, Kim YS, Jeong SY, Lee YS, Lee MS, Koo ST, Choi SM. Protective effects of electroacupuncture on acetylsalicylic acid-induced acute gastritis in rats. World J Gastroenterol 2009; 15(8): 973-977 wjgnet/1007-9327/15/973.asp
Correspondence to: Sun-Mi Choi, OMD, PhD, Department of Medical Research, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, 483 Exporo, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-811, South Korea.
About World Journal of Gastroenterology
World Journal of Gastroenterology (WJG), a leading international journal in gastroenterology and hepatology, has established a reputation for publishing first class research on esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, liver cancer, viral hepatitis, colorectal cancer, and H pylori infection and provides a forum for both clinicians and scientists. WJG has been indexed and abstracted in Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch) and Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition, Index Medicus, MEDLINE and PubMed, Chemical Abstracts, EMBASE/Excerpta Medica, Abstracts Journals, Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology and Hepatology, CAB Abstracts and Global Health. ISI JCR 2003-2000 IF: 3.318, 2.532, 1.445 and 0.993. WJG is a weekly journal published by WJG Press. The publication dates are the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th day of every month. WJG is supported by The National Natural Science Foundation of China, No. 30224801 and No. 30424812, and was founded with the name of China National Journal of New Gastroenterology on October 1, 1995, and renamed WJG on January 25, 1998.
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Source: Lai-Fu Li
World Journal of Gastroenterology