The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of rebamipide on tight junction proteins in the esophageal mucosa in a rat model of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD was created in rats by tying the proximal stomach. The rats were divided into a control group, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) group, and a PPI plus rebamipide (PPI+R) group. Pantoprazole (5 mg/kg) was administered intraperitoneally to the PPI and PPI+R groups. An additional dose of rebamipide (100 mg/kg) was administered orally to the PPI+R group. Mucosal erosions, epithelial thickness, and leukocyte infiltration into the esophageal mucosa were measured in isolated esophagi 14 days after the procedure. A Western blot analysis was conducted to measure the expression of claudin-1, -3, and -4.
The mean surface area of mucosal erosions, epithelial thickness, and leukocyte infiltration were lower in the PPI group and the PPI+R group than in the control group. Western blot analysis revealed that the expression of claudin-3 and -4 was significantly higher in the PPI+R group than in the control group.
Rebamipide may exert an additive effect in combination with PPI to modify the tight junction proteins of the esophageal mucosa in a rat model of GERD. This treatment might be associated with the relief of GERD symptoms.