Oxygen radical scavengers are protective against indomethacin-induced intestinal ulceration in the rat

Ilan Zahavi, Salvador Fisher, Hedva Marcus, Bruria Heckelman, Amnon Kiro, Gabriel Dinari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are widely used and may cause small intestinal inflammation and damage. Reactive oxygen metabolites are involved in various gastrointestinal inflammatory processes, but there is little information about their role in small intestinal mucosal damage induced by NSAIDs. We studied the effect of the oxygen radical scavengers superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and allopurinol (ALLO) on indomethacin (INDO)-induced intestinal ulceration in the rat. Ulceration was produced by s.c. injection of 30 mg/kg of INDO 30 min after refeeding 24 h-fasted rats. Total ulcer area was measured 24 h after INDO administration. Study groups each consisted of eight animals which received either i.p. CAT, SOD, or both together, at a dosage of 5,000 U/kg each. All drugs were divided into five doses, given once an hour over a 4-h period, starting at the time of INDO injection. Another group received 100 mg/kg ALLO in two doses. Total ulcer area was reduced by SOD from 228 ± 12 (sq mm, mean ± SEM) to 153 ± 12 (p< 0.001), by CAT to 179 ± 13 (p< 0.01), and by both together to 95 ± 5 (p< 0.0001). ALLO administration reduced the total ulcer area to 176 ± 7 (p< 0.003). The protective effect of oxyradical scavengers supports the hypothesis that oxygen radicals are involved in the pathogenesis of INDO-induced small intestinal ulceration in the rat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)154-157
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Allopurinol
  • Catalase
  • Indomethacin
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Radical oxygen metabolites
  • Small bowel mucosal injury
  • Superoxide dismutase


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