Effects of nicotine on activity and stress-induced gastric ulcers in rats
Nicotine is known to influence locomotor activity. The alkaloid also intensifies gastric ulcer formation in stressed rats. The effects of nicotine on locomotor activity in relation to gastric lesions induced by restraint at 4 o C for 2 h (stress) were, therefore, studied. Ten-day treatment with nicotine 25 or 50 μg/ml drinking water potentiated stress-evoked ulceration and mast cell degranulation. These same doses of nicotine increased vertical motor activity; only the higher dose of the alkaloid enhanced horizontal movements. Phenobarbitone (12.5, 25, or 50 mg/kg, SC) dose dependently reduced vertical activity, as well as stress-induced gastric ulceration and mucosal mast cell degranulation. The drug also lessened the potentiating effects of nicotine on motor activity and stress-evoked gastric lesion formation. It is concluded that the ability of chronic nicotine treatment to intensify stress-induced gastric ulceration most likely owes part of its action to a mechanism evoking increased activity, which possibly reflects an influence on the CNS, as well as to enhancement of mast cell degranulation in the stomach glandular mucosa.
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