Sucralfate is effective for the treatment of gastric and duodenal ulcers owing to its protective gel-forming ability. However, the mechanism by which sucralfate protects the oesophageal mucosa against reflux oesophagitis has not been clarified. We aimed to investigate the mechanisms of action of sucralfate and sucrose octasulfate (SOS), a component of sucralfate. SOS and sucralfate were administered to oesophagitis-induced rats, and the ulcer lesion size was macroscopically examined and scored. Effective pepsin activity in the gastric juices obtained from the animal model was evaluated by a casein digestion test. Sucralfate and SOS improved the pathology scores in a dose-dependent manner, whereas gastric juice pepsin activity was not impaired by therapeutic doses of SOS. As SOS lacks the ability to form a thick gel layer by polymerisation, we examined the distribution of SOS in the mucosal lumen by imaging mass spectrometry (IMS) to determine whether SOS directly adheres to the mucosal surface. A clear homogeneous thin-layer SOS film (>100 μm thick) was visualized on the oesophageal mucosal surface. Moreover, this SOS film formation was enhanced at ulcer lesion sites. Taken together, SOS appears to protect oesophageal mucosa against reflux oesophagitis via thin-layer formation on the mucosal surface.
ASJC Scopus subject areas