Role of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in pathogenesis of ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats

Fanny Karmeli, Rami Eliakim, Elimelech Okon, Daniel Rachmilewitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To elucidate the possible role of vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) in the pathogenesis of acute gastric mucosal damage, rats were treated intragastrically with 1.0 ml 96% ethanol with or without intravenous or intraperitoneal coadministration of VIP (1 nmol/liter to 1 μmol/liter/100 g). VIP was found to double the mean lesion area when compared with that induced by ethanol alone (P<0.05), an effect that was prevented by VIP antagonist (1 μmol/liter/100 g). A substance P antagonist (1 μmol/liter/100 g) also reduced the extent of gastric damage induced by coadministration of VIP and ethanol. VIP antagonist or substance P antagonist significantly reduced ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage. Gastric mucosal levels of LTB4, LTC4, VIP, and substance P were significantly increased in ethanol-treated rats as compared with saline-treated animals (P<0.05). The augmentation of ethanol-induced damage by VIP was associated with increased gastric mucosal levels of LTB4. In VIP-treated rats, gastric mucosal levels of substance P were found to be significantly increased compared with control rats (P<0.05). Administration of VIP to pyloric-ligated rats significantly increased gastric acid output and blood pepsinogen A levels as compared with saline treated rats (P<0.05). Ketotifen, a mast cell stabilizer (100 μg/100 g), administered orally 30 min before damage induction by ethanol, with or without VIP, totally abolished the damage of the surface epithelium of the entire gastric mucosa and significantly reduced the mucosal levels of LTC4 and LTB4 (P<0.05). It is suggested that VIP is involved in the pathogenesis of acute ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage. The effective mucosal protection by ketotifen suggests a role for mast cells and their mediators in the pathogenesis of acute gastric mucosal damage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1219
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • VIP
  • ethanol
  • ketotifen
  • leukotriene B
  • leukotriene C
  • substance P


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