Various stressors induce apoptosis in gastric mucosal cells, which may cause gastric mucosal lesions in vivo. We recently reproduced gastric stressor-induced apoptosis in vitro, using primary cultures of guinea pig gastric mucosal cells. Geranylgeranylacetone is an antiulcer drug with heat-shock protein-inducing properties. The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of geranylgeranylacetone on gastric stressor-induced apoptosis in vitro. Ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, and hydrochloric acid all induced, in a dose-dependent manner, apoptotic DNA fragmentation. Pretreatment of cells with geranylgeranylacetone inhibited the apoptotic DNA fragmentation caused by each of these gastric stressors. Pretreatment of cells with a low concentration of ethanol, a procedure that is also known to induce heat-shock proteins, made cells resistant to the apoptotic DNA fragmentation. These results suggest that heat-shock proteins could be at least partly involved in the inhibitory effect of geranylgeranylacetone against apoptosis of gastric mucosal cells caused by these gastric stressors.
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