Guinea pig gastric pit cells in primary culture undergo serum-dependent cell maturation, which mimics their maturation in vivo. In this study we compared the sensitivities of these cells, as a function of early- and late-stage cell maturation, to various gastric stressors. Gastric pit cells in the early stage of maturation (two days of culture) were more resistant to apoptotic cell death induced by exposure to hydrogen peroxide than those cells in late-stage maturation (three days of culture). This maturation-associated difference was not observed for the sensitivities of cells to necrotic cell death induced by hydrogen peroxide, nor for necrotic and apoptotic cell death induced by other gastric stressors (ethanol and hydrochloric acid). The activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase were specifically decreased in cells at the late stage of maturation compared to those at the early stage. The relative gastric pit cell phenotype sensitivity to hydrogen peroxide at the late stage of maturation may be due to a decrease in the activities of catalase and glutathione peroxidase, which are antioxidants for hydrogen peroxide.
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