Adaptive cytoprotection and the brain-gut axis

Joshua KO, C. H. Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Adaptive cytoprotection is a concept to counteract against the gastric mucosal injury caused by stress, strong irritants and drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The process is mediated through diverse mediators and mechanisms. Studies on adaptive cytoprotection began from the discovery of prostaglandin (PG)-dependent and PG-independent pathways, followed by the investigation on the types and concentrations of mild irritants to be used. Upon the confirmation on the importance of the vagus nerve and the vago-vagal pathway in regulating the mucosal protective actions of the mild irritants, individual participating mediators for the neuronal modulatory processes were explored, including peptide neurotransmitters such as calcitonin gene-related peptide and substance P. Further correlation with the sympathetic nervous system, the sensory afferent neurons and the enteric nervous system of the gastric mucosa had been made. A close working relationship between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, the autonomic nervous system and the enteric nervous system was then proposed, with concurrent regulation of PG, nitric oxide and sensory neuropeptides by different mild irritants. Apart from these conventional concepts, there are now contemporary ideas on newer forms of adaptive cytoprotection such as ischemic preconditioning and heat-shock proteins, which will cast new light to novel approaches in facilitating gastric mucosal protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-24
Number of pages6
Issue numberSUPPL.1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Gastroenterology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Adaptive cytoprotection
  • Afferent sensory neurons
  • Gastric mucosa
  • Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis
  • Mild irritants
  • Prostaglandins
  • Vagus nerve


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