, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 49-54

Mechanisms for cytoprotection by vitamin U from ethanol-induced gastric mucosal damage in rats

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A comparison was made of the effects of a nonsulfhydryl compound, vitamin U (methylme-thioninesulfonium chloride, MMSC), and a sulfhydryl compound, cysteine (Cys), with regard to the inducement of acute gastric mucosal damage in the presence and absence ofN-ethylmaleimide (NEM), a sulfhydryl-blocking reagent. The effects of MMSC, Cys, or NEM on gastric mucin content were examined using a newly developed biochemical method. MMSC and Cys inhibited mucosal damage due to 50% ethanol. The preinjection of NEM had no effect on cytoprotection of prostaglandins, but prevented the effects of Cys and MMSC. MMSC and Cys increased surface mucin content but lessened that of deep mucin. NEM decreased surface mucin and increased deep mucin. It thus follows that sulfhydryl compounds accelerate the secretion of deep mucin and accumulate surface mucin. The cytoprotective mechanism of MMSC may thus be mediated by sulfhydryl compounds, and the increase in surface mucosal mucin may possibly be related to cytoprotection.