Corticosterone increase inhibits stress-induced gastric erosions in rats

L. P. Filaretova, A. A. Filaretov, G. B. Makara

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The role of glucocorticoids released in response to stress in the pathogenesis of stress-induced gastric erosions has been reevaluated. Gastric erosions elicited in male rats by 3-h cold-restraint or water-restraint stresses were studied after acute reduction of corticosterone release or occupation of glucocorticoid receptors by the antagonist RU-38486 during stress. Stress-induced corticosterone production was reduced by creating a lesion on the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) 4 days before stress as well as by pretreatment with a rabbit antiserum to adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) 30 min before stress. RU-38486 (10 mg/kg po) was administered 20 min before and 60 min after the onset of stress. Corticosterone for replacement was injected 15 min before the onset of stress to mimic stress-induced corticosterone response. Plasma corticosterone levels were measured by fluorometry or RIA. Gastric erosions were quantitated by measuring the area of damage. Four days after PVN lesion, stress-induced corticosterone release was decreased and gastric erosions were increased. Injecting corticosterone significantly attenuated the effect of PVN lesion on gastric erosions. The ACTH antiserum inhibited corticosteroid secretion in response to stress and markedly increased gastric erosions. The administration of the glucocorticoid/progesterone antagonist RU-38486 significantly potentiated the formation of stress-induced gastric erosions. These observations support the suggestion that glucocorticoids released during stress have a gastroprotective action rather than an ulcerogenic effect as was generally accepted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)G1024-G1030
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number6 37-6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 1998



  • Gastric erosion
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Hypothalamic lesion
  • RU-38486

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Physiology (medical)

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