The present study aims at investigating the role of nitric oxide (NO) on the oxidative damage in gastric mucosa of rats which received ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) and its relation to mucus. NO synthesis modulators such as L-arginine and NG-nitro-L-arginine methyl ester (L-NAME) were injected intraperitoneally to the rats 30 min prior to I/R which was induced by clamping the celiac artery and the superior mesenteric artery for 30 min and reperfusion for 1 h. As a result, I/R increased lipid peroxide production and decreased the contents of glutathione (GSH), cGMP and mucus as well as GSH peroxidase activities of gastric mucosa. I/R decreased the activity and protein of NO synthase (NOS) in gastric mucosa. Pretreatment of L-arginine, a substrate for NOS, prevented I/R-induced alterations of gastric mucosa. However, L-NAME, an NOS inhibitor, deteriorated oxidative damage induced by I/R. In conclusion, NO has an antioxidant defensive role on gastric mucosa by maintaining mucus, GSH and GSH peroxidase, which were related to preservation of cGMP and NOS in gastric mucosa.
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