Gastroprotection by vitamin C - A heme oxygenase-1-dependent mechanism?

Jan C. Becker, Nina Grosser, Peter Boknik, Henning Schröder, Wolfram Domschke, Thorsten Pohle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations


Free oxygen radicals contribute to gastric mucosal damage induced by acetylic-salicylic acid (ASA). Vitamin C has been shown to reduce gastric toxicity of ASA in humans. We intended to assess the role of heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1) in this process by application of these substances to AGS and KATO III cells. HO-1 expression was monitored by real-time RT-PCR, Western blot, and HO activity measurement. HO-1 mRNA was significantly elevated by either ASA or vitamin C in gastric epithelial cells, combination of both substances further increased expression. HO-1 protein and enzyme activity rose in cells exposed to vitamin C alone or combined with ASA, but not after stimulation with ASA alone. In contrast to endothelia, in which ASA simultaneously induces HO-1 mRNA and protein expression, gastric epithelial cells require vitamin C to translate HO-1 mRNA into active protein, which then may exert gastroprotection by its antioxidant and vasodilative properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)507-512
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 12 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Acetylic-salicylic acid
  • Gastric epithelial cells
  • Gastroprotection
  • Heme oxygenase
  • Protein expression
  • Real-time RT-PCR
  • Vitamin C

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