Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 40, Issue 11, pp 2312–2316 | Cite as

Role of dorsal motor nucleus of vagus in gastric function and mucosal damage induced by ethanol in rats

  • Y. S. Chan
  • J. K. S. Ko
  • C. H. Cho
Esophageal, Gastric, And Duodenal Disorders


Experimental evidence indicates that the autonomic nervous system, especially the cholinergic pathway, modulates the mucosal defensive mechanism and affects mucosal damage in the stomach. The present study investigated the role of the dorsal motor nucleus of vagus (DMV) in gastric function and its influences on ethanol-induced mucosal damage in pentobarbitone-anesthetized rats. Electrolytic lesion of the DMV as compared with sham operation and lesions of other brain areas, eg, nucleus reticular gigantocellularis and cuneate nucleus, reduced the basal gastric mucosal blood flow (GMBF) and also the blood flow after ethanol administration. The same operation did not affect the acid secretion either in the basal state or during the ethanol treatment period. Lesions at the caudal half of the DMV produced a bigger depression of GMBF when compared with lesion at the rostral half. In the sham-operated rats, ethanol induced severe hemorrhagic lesions in the gastric glandular mucosa, and this was significantly potentiated by lesions at the DMV, especially in the caudal half. The present findings indicate that acute DMV damage at the caudal half markedly affects the GMBF but not the acid secretion. The action on GMBF may contribute to the aggravation of ethanol-induced gastric damage in rats. These data reinforce the idea that the central vagal pathway, especially the caudal half of the DMV, plays a significant role in the modulation of GMBF, which in turn affects the integrity of gastric mucosal barrier.

Key words

dorsal motor nucleus of vagus ethanol gastric mucosal blood flow gastric acid secretion gastric damage 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. S. Chan
    • 1
  • J. K. S. Ko
    • 1
  • C. H. Cho
    • 1
  1. 1.From the Departments of Physiology and Pharmacology, Faculty of MedicineThe University of Hong KongHong Kong

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