We recently found that guinea pig gastric pit cells in culture undergo spontaneous and rapid apoptotic DNA fragmentation, which may represent the rapid death of gastric pit cells in vivo. In this study, we observed that pretreatment of cells with geranylgeranylacetone, an antiulcer drug with heat-shock proteininducing activity, suppressed the spontaneous apoptotic DNA fragmentation in a dose-dependent manner. Pretreatment of cells with low concentrations of ethanol or heat-shock also prevented the spontaneous apoptotic DNA fragmentation. These observations indicate that the suppression of the apoptotic DNA fragmentation by geranylgeranylacetone involve the induction of heat-shock proteins.
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