Ionizing Radiation, Prostaglandins, and Gastric Function in Monkeys

  • A. Dubois
  • E. D. Dorval
  • N. Fiala
  • L. K. Steel


The prodromal syndrome of radiation sickness is characterized by nausea, vomiting, and suppression of gastric function, but the mediators responsible for this entity remain unknown. We investigated the possible involvement of prostaglandins in this syndrome by determining the concurrent effects of ionizing radiation on gastric function and on prostaglandins. We measured gastric electrical control activity (ECA, waves/ min), fractional emptying rate (FER, %/min), acid output (AO, μEq/min), and plasma and gastric juice levels of prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) and 6-keto-PGF, the stable metabolite of PGI2. Nine conscious, chair-adapted rhesus monkeys were studied once before, once immediately after, and once 2 days after a single 8-Gy total-body irradiation (800 rads) of cobalt-60. In addition to causing vomiting, total-body irradiation transiently suppressed gastric electrical control activity, gastric emptying, and gastric secretion. Levels of PGE2 and 6-keto-PGF were increased in the gastric juice but not in the plasma. Thus, PG’s may be responsible for the gastric symptoms of the prodromal syndrome.


Gastric Emptying Gastric Secretion Acid Output Water Load Gastric Function 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Dubois
    • 1
  • E. D. Dorval
    • 1
  • N. Fiala
    • 1
  • L. K. Steel
    • 2
  1. 1.Digestive Diseases Division Department of MedicineUniformed Services University of the Health SciencesBethesdaUSA
  2. 2.Radiation Biochemistry DepartmentArmed Forces Radiobiology Research InstituteBethesdaUSA

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