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, Volume 14, Issue 5–6, pp 715–718 | Cite as

Are prostaglandins cytoprotective in the human large intestine?—the effect of indomethacin on rectal mucosal function and prostaglandin E2 releasein vivo

  • D. S. Rampton
  • Tina P. Barton
Immunosuppression and Inflammation


To test the hypothesis that prostaglandins are cytoprotective in the human large intestine, we investigated the effect of withdrawal of treatment with indomethacin suppositories on bowel habit and on rectal mucosal electrolyte transport and prostaglandin production in 8 patients taking such treatment for rheumatological disorders. Discontinuation of indomethacin doubled rectal mucosal prostaglandin E2 release (p<0.05) measured byin vivo rectal dialysis. Although there was no significant overall change in stool frequency, stool consistency, rectal bleeding or sodium absorption (also assessed by rectal dialysis), sigmoidoscopic appearance (p=0.05), rectal mucosal potential difference (p<0.05) and potassium transport (p=0.01) each reverted towards normal on indomethacin withdrawal. These results accord with the theory that, as in the upper gastrointestinal tract, prostaglandins may play a role in the maintenance of rectal mucosal structure and function.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Rampton
    • 1
  • Tina P. Barton
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Medicine and GastroenterologyUniversity College School of Medicine and HospitalLondonUK

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