Neuropeptides and gastric mucosal homeostasis

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The role of central nervous system (CNS) in regulation of gastric function has longbeen known. The dorsal vagal complex (DVC) has an important role in regulation of gastric mucosal integrity; it is involved both in mucosal protection and in ulcer formation. Neuropeptides have been identified in DVC, the origin of these peptides are both intrinsic and extrinsic. Neuropeptides are localized also in the periphery, in afferent neurons. The afferent neurons also have efferent-like function in the gastroinetestinal tract, and neuropeptides released from the peripheral nerve endings of primary afferent neurons can induce gastric mucosal protection. Centrally and /or peripherally injected neuropeptides, such as amylin, adrenomedullin, bombesin, cholecystokinin, neurotensin, opioid peptides, thyreotropin, releasing hormone and vasoactive intestinal peptide, influence both the acid secretion and the gastric mucosal lesions induced by different ulcerogens. The centrally induced gastroprotective effect of neuropeptides may be partly due to a vagal dependent increase of gastric mucosal resistance to injury; activation of vagal cholinergic pathway is resulted in stimulation of the release of mucosal prostaglandin and nitric oxide. Furthermore, release of sensory neuropeptides (calcitonin gene-related peptide, tachykinins) from capsaicin sensitive afferent fibers are also involved in the centrally induced gastroprotective effect of neuropeptides.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-73
Number of pages11
JournalCurrent topics in medicinal chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 12 2004



  • Gastric acid secretion
  • Gastroprotection
  • Neuropeptides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Drug Discovery

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