Original communication| Volume 83, ISSUE 2, P194-199, February 1978

Role of the sympathetic nervous system in peptic ulcer production in rats

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      The role of the sympathetic nervous system in gastric acid secretion and in experimental duodenal ulceration (cysteamine induced) was studied in rats. The animals were divided randomly into seven groups: (1) control, (2) sham-operated, (3) surgical sympathectomy, (4) chemical sympathectomy (6-HODA), (5) vagotomy, (6) surgical sympathectomy plus vagotomy, and (7) chemical sympathectomy plus vagotomy. Results on gastric acid secretion were expressed as gastric acid output (GAO = μEq of acid secretion in 1 hour). The means in the control and sham groups were 447.83 ± 26.67 GAO and 399 ± 36.4 GAO, respectively. The means in the sympathectomized rats (surgically = 562 ± 27.21 GAO and chemically = 648.66 ± 46.53 GAO) were higher (P < 0.01) than those of the control and sham groups. In the vagotomized group the mean was 156.6 ± 17.64 GAO, lower than those of the control and sham groups (P < 0.001). The incidence of ulceration was 47.5% and 46% in the control and sham groups, respectively. Both the sympathectomized groups (surgically, 73%; chemically, 77%), had a significantly elevated incidence of ulceration as compared with the controls (P < 0.01). The vagotomized group had a 14% incidence of ulceration. These results clearly indicate that sympathectomy has a definite effect on gastric acid secretion and on the incidence of experimental peptic ulceration in rats.
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