2005 Volume 28 Issue 8 Pages 1321-1341
Four types of experimental chronic ulcer models, named acetic acid ulcer models, have been developed to examine the healing process of peptic ulcers, screen anti-ulcer drugs, and better evaluate the adverse effects of various anti-inflammatory drugs on the gastrointestinal mucosa. The model easily and reliably produces round, deep ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, allowing acetic acid ulcer production in mice, rats, Mongolian gerbils, guinea pigs, cats, dogs, miniature pigs, and monkeys. These ulcer models highly resemble human ulcers in terms of both pathological features and healing process. The models have been established over the past 35 years and are now used throughout the world by basic and clinical scientists. One of the characteristic features of acetic acid ulcers in rats is the spontaneous relapse of healed ulcers >100 d after ulceration, an endoscopically confirmed phenomenon. Indomethacin significantly delays the healing of acetic acid ulcers, probably by reducing endogenous prostaglandins and inhibiting angiogenesis in ulcerated tissue. Helicobacter pylori significantly delays healing of acetic acid ulcers and causes relapse of healed ulcers at a high incidence in Mongolian gerbils. Anti-secretory drugs (e.g. omeprazole), prostaglandin analogs, mucosal defense agents (e.g. sucralfate), and various growth factors all significantly enhance healing of acetic acid ulcers. Gene therapy with epidermal growth factor and vascular endothelial growth factor applied to the base of acetic acid ulcers in rats is effective in enhancing ulcer healing. Since an inhibitor of nitric oxide syntase prevents ulcer healing, nitric oxide might be involved in the mechanism underlying ulcer healing. We conclude that acetic acid ulcer models are quite useful for various studies related to peptic ulcers.