The effect of nitric oxide (NO) on apoptosis in the gastrointestinal mucosa was investigated. Experiments involved long-term exposure of rat gastric mucosal cells in vitro to exogenous NO delivered from the NO, donor S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine, and the effect of intravenous administration of lipopolysaccharide in vivo, in the presence and absence of the selective inhibitor of inducible NO synthase N-(3-(aminomethyl)benzyl) acetamidine (1400 W). S-nitroso-N-acetyl-penicillamine produced a dose-related inhibition of caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation in isolated gastric mucosal cells. Caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation in gastric, ileal and colonic mucosa were increased both 5 and 24 h after injection of lipopolysaccharide (3 mg/kg, i.v.) to rats in vivo. Administration of 1400 W (5 mg/kg, i.v.) immediately after lipopolysaccharide enhanced caspase 3-like activity and DNA fragmentation above that found with lipopolysaccharide alone. In conclusion, data obtained both in vitro and in vivo suggest that NO exerts an anti-apoptotic effect on rat gastrointestinal mucosal cells. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
- nitric oxide (NO)
- gastrointestinal tract