Enhancement in gastric mucus gel qualities with colloidal bismuth subcitrate administration

Jerzy Piotrowski, Jan Bilski, Hidefumi Nishikawa, Amalia Slomiany, Bronislaw L. Slomiany

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The effects of intragastric administration of an antiulcer drug, colloidal bismuth subcitrate, on the content, composition and physical properties of the mucus component of gastric mucosal barrier were investigated. The experiments were conducted with two groups of rats in which one group received twice daily for three consecutive days a dose of 100 mg/kg colloidal bismuth subcitrate, while the control group received saline. The animals were killed 16 h after the last dose, their stomachs dissected and the mucosa subjected to physiochemical measurements. The results revealed that colloidal bismuth subcitrate elicited a 49% increase in mucus gel dimension, while sulfo- and sialomucin content of the gel increased by 64 and 112%, respectively. The changes in mucus with colloidal bismuth subcitrate were accompanied by a 28% increase in H+ retardation capacity, 2.2-fold increase in viscosity, and a 26% increase in the gel hydrophobicity. The mucus elaborated in the presence of colloidal bismuth subcitrate exhibited 16% lower protein content and 68% higher content of carbohydrate than that of the control, displayed similar levels of total lipids and covalently bound fatty acids, but its phospholipid content was 32% higher. Furthermore, the mucus of the colloidal bismuth subcitrate group showed a marked increase in the proportion of the high molecular weight form of mucin. The results suggest that colloidal bismuth subcitrate is capable of the enhancement of mucus gel quantities associated with the maintenance of gastric mucosal integrity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-63
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology


  • (Rat)
  • Colloidal bismuth subcitrate
  • Gastric mucosal protection
  • Mucus physicochemical qualities


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