The time course of induction of VGF mRNA in the dorsal vagal complex of the medulla oblongata was investigated in rats with duodenal ulcer induced with cysteamine by in situ hybridization histochemistry. In control rats, weak VGF mRNA signals were detected in a few neurons in the nucleus tractus solitarii and dorsal motor nucleus of vagus. After the cysteamine administration (450 mg/kg, s.c.), VGF mRNA signals began to increase after 3 h, reached at peak level at 12 h, and decreased slightly at 24 h, but remained high after 48 h. The time course of duodenal ulcer score was absent at 3 h, very low at 6 h, about grade 1 at 12 h, and grade 2 or more at 24 and 48 h. The present results support the hypothesis that the increase of the central neuronal activity of the vagus nerve precedes ulcer generation in the duodenum. © 1995.
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