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Biochem Pharmacol. 2003 Sep 15;66(6):1115-21.

Expression of vanilloid receptors in rat gastric epithelial cells: role in cellular protection.

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Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, Kyoto Pharmaceutical University, Misasagi, Yamashina, Kyoto 607-8414, Japan.


Vanilloid receptors subtype 1 (VR1), a nonselective cation channel responsive to capsaicin, protons, and noxious heat, has been recently identified in not only neural but also non-neural cells. In the present study, we demonstrated the peripheral expression of VR1 in gastric mucosal epithelial cells and investigated the role of the receptor in cellular protection. The rat gastric mucosal epithelial cell line was used. The expression of VR1 was examined by Western blotting and RT-PCR. Cell damage was induced by immersion in 10% ethanol or acid (pH 4.0) for 30 min, and cell viability was determined by MTT assay. Capsaicin or resiniferatoxin was added 30 min before the challenge with ethanol or acid, while capsazepine or ruthenium red (a VR1 antagonist) was added simultaneously with capsaicin. The distinct expression of VR1 protein and mRNA was detected in rat gastric mucosal epithelial cell line as well as in the rat stomach and spinal cord by Western blotting and RT-PCR, respectively. The cDNA sequence of the PCR product was found to be almost identical to that of the authentic VR1 (99.8%) when the product was subcloned and sequenced. On the other hand, the cell damage induced by ethanol or acid was dose-dependently prevented by pretreatment with capsaicin. The protective effect of capsaicin was mimicked by resiniferatoxin and almost totally abolished by co-addition of capsazepine or ruthenium red. These findings suggest that VR1 is expressed peripherally in gastric mucosal epithelial cells and plays a cellular protective role.

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