Parenteral administration of the opiate antagonist, naltrexone, had a cytoprotective effect against stress-induced ulceration. This effect appears to be due to blockade of peripheral rather than central endogenous opiates and is not related to the central inhibitory effect of opiates on gastric acid secretion. Opiates have complex effects on gastric mucosal blood flow which may explain their role in stress ulceration.
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We thank Julie Knelp and Martha Grace for technical assistance and JoAnn Tallman for secretarial assistance. Research was supported by the Veterans Administration.