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Indian J Pharmacol. 2008 Mar;40(2):73-7. doi: 10.4103/0253-7613.41042.

Protective effect of palm vitamin E and α-tocopherol against gastric lesions induced by water immersion restraint stress in Sprague-Dawley rats.

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  • 1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.



Stress can lead to various changes in the gastrointestinal tract of rats. The present study was designed to compare the effect of palm vitamin E (PVE) and α-tocopherol (α-TF) supplementations on the gastric parameters important in maintaining gastric mucosal integrity in rats exposed to water immersion restraint stress (WRS). These parameters include gastric acidity, plasma gastrin level, gastric prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)), and gastric lesions.


Sixty male Sprague-Dawley rats (200-250 g) were divided into three equal groups: a control group, which received a normal rat diet (RC), and two treatment groups, receiving oral supplementation of either PVE or α-TF at 60 mg/kg body weight for 28 days. Each group was further divided into two groups: the nonstress and stress groups. The stress groups were subjected to 3.5 h of WRS once at the end of the treatment period. Blood samples were then taken to measure the gastrin level, after which the rats were killed. Gastric juice was collected for measurement of gastric acidity and gastric tissue was taken for measurement of gastric mucosal lesions and PGE(2).


Exposure to stress resulted in the production of gastric lesions. PVE and α-TF lowered the lesion indices as compared to the stress control group. Stress reduced gastric acidity but pretreatment with PVE and α-TF prevented this reduction. The gastrin levels in the stress group were lower as compared to that in the nonstress control. However, following treatment with PVE and α-TF, gastrin levels increased and approached the normal level. There was also a significant reduction in the gastric PGE(2) content with stress exposure, but this reduction was blocked with treatment with both PVE and α-TF.


In conclusion, WRS leads to a reduction in the gastric acidity, gastrin level, and gastric PGE(2) level and there is increased formation of gastric lesions. Supplementation with either PVE or α-TF reduces the formation of gastric lesions, possibly by blocking the changes in the gastric acidity, gastrin, and gastric PGE(2) induced by stress. No significant difference between PVE and α-TF was observed.


Gastric lesions; gastric PGE2; palm vitamin E; water immersion restraint stress; α-tocopherol

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