Protease-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2), a receptor activated by trypsin/tryptase, modulates smooth muscle tone and exocrine secretion in the salivary glands and pancreas. Given that PAR-2 is expressed throughout the gastrointestinal tract, we investigated effects of PAR-2 agonists on mucus secretion and gastric mucosal injury in the rat. PAR-2–activating peptides triggered secretion of mucus in the stomach, but not in the duodenum. This mucus secretion was abolished by pretreatment with capsaicin, which stimulates and ablates specific sensory neurons, but it was resistant to cyclo-oxygenase inhibition. In contrast, capsaicin treatment failed to block PAR-2–mediated secretion from the salivary glands. Intravenous calcitonin gene–related peptide (CGRP) and neurokinin A markedly elicited gastric mucus secretion, as did substance P to a lesser extent. Specific antagonists of the CGRP1 and NK2, but not the NK1, receptors inhibited PAR-2–mediated mucus secretion. Pretreatment with the PAR-2 agonist strongly prevented gastric injury caused by HCl-ethanol or indomethacin. Thus, PAR-2 activation triggers the cytoprotective secretion of gastric mucus by stimulating the release of CGRP and tachykinins from sensory neurons. In contrast, the PAR-2–mediated salivary exocrine secretion appears to be independent of capsaicin-sensitive sensory neurons
To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.