Abstract. Study carried out to investigate the potential cytoprotective effects of ozonized sunflower oil (OSO) in the damage of rat gastric mucosa induced by indomethacin, and to elucidate the role of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation and constituents of antioxidant defense (SOD and CAT) in these effects.

The gastric ulcer index was reduced by OSO and cimetidine. OSO also reduced TBARS concentration, but it increased SOD activity in gastric mucosa homogenates. In contrast, CAT activity was not significantly modified by the treatment. Histological study confirmed the cytoprotective effects of OSO in rat gastric mucosa damaged by indomethacin.

Cytoprotective effects of OSO in rat gastric mucosa are mediated at least partially by upregulation of the antioxidant system and mainly SOD.

Materials and methods. The gastric damage was induced using indomethacin; four hours later OSO or cimetidine -used as reference drug- were administered also and four hours thereafter, the rats were killed, and the stomachs were removed.

Results. Gastric lesions were significantly reduced, in a dose-dependent manner, in rats treated with OSO with respect to control group, treated with indomethacin alone. In general, OSO induced a great reduction of rat gastric damage in similar manner as cimetidine did.

In the rats treated with OSO and cimetidine TBARS concentrations were significantly decreased with respect to indomethacin control. SOD activity in gastric mucosa was significantly decreased in the rats treated with indomethacin, whereas in the groups treated with OSO or cimetidine a significant reversion of SOD activity was observed. However, the activity of antioxidant enzyme CAT in gastric mucosa showed no significant changed neither with indomethacin nor with OSO treatment.

Discussion. The results of this study clearly show a significant reduction in indomethacin-induced gastric damage in rats treated with OSO or cimetidine. Lipid TBARS content in the gastric mucosa of rats decreased significantly in the three groups treated with OSO with respect to control treated with indomethacin. Our results showed a reversion by OSO treatment of the gastric injury mediated by a significant increase of SOD activity.

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