Neuropeptides in the duodenal mucosa of chronic alcoholic heavy drinkers.
To determine the role of endogenous substance P in ethanol-induced mucosal damage, two experiments were performed. In the first experiment, the stomachs of anesthetized rats were doubly cannulated and gastric damage was induced with 5 ml of 30% ethanol in the gastric lumen. The damage was ameliorated by pretreatment with capsaicin (0.16 and 1.6 mM) and spantide (100 mg/kg, i.v.). In the second experiment, the gastric mucosa of these rats was perfused with physiological saline containing pepstatin (10 μl/ml). Endogenous substance P (SP) in the perfusate was measured by enzyme immunoassay (EIA). The peak SP levels were increased by capsaicin (0.16–1.6 mM) in a concentration-dependent manner. Perfusion with 50% ethanol for 5 min increased the SP levels approximately threefold. Perfusion with 1.6 mM capsaicin, followed by 50% ethanol, reduced the injured area to about one-quarter of the original injured area. The peak SP levels during perfusion with 50% ethanol after pretreatment with 1.6 mM capsaicin did not differe from those observed after vehicle pretreatment (control). The area under the curve for SP release during 50% ethanol perfusion after vehicle perfusion was not reduced by previous perfusion with 1.6 mM capsaicin followed by 50% ethanol, indicating that the prevention of ethanol-induced injury by capsaicin may be due to excess amounts of different neuropeptides released simultaneously.