Interplay between anti-inflammatory drugs and eicosanoids in gastrointestinal damage

  • K. D. Rainsford
Part of the Advances in Eicosanoid Research book series (AEIR, volume 2)


Inhibition of the synthesis and production of prostaglandins (chiefly E2 and I2) has been considered a major factor in the development of gastrointestinal damage for some years now. Based on the original suggestion by Vane1 in 1971 that ‘aspirin-like’ drugs exert their effects by inhibiting the biosynthesis of prostaglandins (PGs), it was proposed by Main and Whittle2 and others that this property might underly the gastric mucosal damage caused by nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Just before these suggestions were propounded, several workers became interested in the effects on acid-secretion3, anti-ulcer3 and smooth muscle contractile4,5 actions of exogenous prostaglandins on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and later on the involvement of PGs in the production of diarrhoea by cholera toxin6. Since these and other earlier studies, there has been an enormous upsurge in interest in the fundamental actions of PGs and other eicosanoids on the GI tract and the actions of NSAIDs and steroids on their generation and actions. It is the purpose of this review to focus on (a) the actions of anti-inflammatory drugs on eicosanoid metabolism, and (b) the possible relationship of these effects to the pathogenesis of mucosal damage in different regions of the GI tract. The pharmacological and physiological actions of the various eicosanoids, and their production in the GI tract, are discussed elsewhere in this book and in recent reviews7–14. Here, these aspects will only be considered as they relate to understanding the fundamental role of perturbing eicosanoid metabolism in the development of GI mucosal damage.


Gastric Mucosa Mucosal Injury Gastric Mucosal Injury Gastric Injury Gastric Mucosal Damage 
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  • K. D. Rainsford

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