Anti-inflammatory effects of angiotensin II AT1 receptor antagonism prevent stress-induced gastric injury

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology




2 48-2




Gastric blood flow; Prostaglandins; Tumor necrosis factor


Stress reduces gastric blood flow and produces acute gastric mucosal lesions. We studied the role of angiotensin II in gastric blood flow and gastric ulceration during stress. Spontaneously hypertensive rats were pretreated for 14 days with the AT1 receptor antagonist candesartan before cold-restraint stress. AT1 receptors were localized in the endothelium of arteries in the gastric mucosa and in all gastric layers. AT1 blockade increased gastric blood flow by 40-50%, prevented gastric ulcer formation by 70-80% after cold-restraint stress, reduced the increase in adrenomedullary epinephrine and tyrosine hydroxylase mRNA without preventing the stress-induced increase in adrenal corticosterone, decreased the stress-induced expression of TNF-α and that of the adhesion protein ICAM-1 in arterial endothelium, decreased the neutrophil infiltration in the gastric mucosa, and decreased the gastric content of PGE2. AT1 receptor blockers prevent stress-induced ulcerations by a combination of gastric blood flow protection, decreased sympathoadrenal activation, and anti-inflammatory effects (with reduction in TNF-α and ICAM-1 expression leading to reduced neutrophil infiltration) while maintaining the protective glucocorticoid effects and PGE2 release. Angiotensin II has a crucial role, through stimulation of AT1 receptors, in the production and progression of stress-induced gastric injury, and AT1 receptor antagonists could be of therapeutic benefit.