Experiments were designed to examine the possibility that nonprotein sulfhydryl groups of the gastric mucosa could participate in the protection of rat gastric mucosa by rosaprostol (the Na salt of 9-hydroxy-8,12 trans-19,20-bis-nor-prostanoic acid). Gastric mucosal lesions and the content of nonprotein sulfhydryls were evaluated after orally administered absolute ethanol. Pretreatment with rosaprostol by gavage prevented gastric lesions and reduced or prevented the decrease of mucosal nonprotein thiols. N-ethylmaleimide, a sulfhydryl blocker, worsened the ethanol-induced gastric lesions and lowered further the non protein thiols. Both variables were improved by the PG analogue and by PGE2. These results suggest a possible role of endogenous nonprotein sulfhydryl groups in the gastric protective effect of rosaprostol.
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