We recently showed the involvement of the L-arginine/nitric oxide (NO) pathway in acid-induced duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion in rats. The aim of the present study was to confirm this observation in pigs by direct measurements of NO production. Experiments were performed on 16 anaesthetized pigs of both sexes treated with guanethidine (6 mg kg−1, intravenously). A duodenal segment, devoid of pancreaticobiliary influxes, was perfused with saline and the duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretion was calculated from continuous measurements of pH and Pco2. The perfusate contents of NO and its oxidative product nitrite were determined by chemiluminescence, after reduction of nitrite to NO.
Luminal acidification with 30 mM hydrochloric acid increased the output of bicarbonate as well as NO to the perfusate, by 195 ± 45% and 106 ± 10%, respectively. These responses to acid were markedly inhibited by adding the NO synthase inhibitor NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, 0.3 mM) to the perfusate. The inhibitory effect of L-NMMA could be reversed by administration of L-arginine (3 mM).
The study presents simultaneous measurements of bicarbonate and NO outputs to a duodenal luminal perfusate. The results strongly support the view that the L-arginine/NO pathway is involved in the acid-induced duodenal mucosal bicarbonate secretory response.