Aim: Pithecellobium dulce (P. dulce) fruits are evidenced by its traditional use for gastrointestinal disorders. The aim of the study is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms associated with the antiulcerogenic effects of P. dulce fruits. Materials and Methods: Gastric and duodenal ulcers were induced by administering ethanol and cysteamine in rats pretreated with hydroalcoholic fruit extract of P. dulce (200 mg/ kg bwt) for 30 days. The antiulcerogenic effect of P. dulce extracts was screened by quantitative analysis of H+, K+-ATPase β subunit, MUC6 and MUC2 expression in stomach and duodenal tissue by real time PCR. Results: The P. dulce fruit extracts exerted its antiulcerogenic effect by down regulation of H+, K+-ATPase β subunit expression (p<0.01) and up regulation of gastroprotective mucins, MUC6 and MUC2 (p<0.05) in stomach and duodenum respectively. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that P. dulce exerts gastroprotective effect by down regulating gastric H+, K+-ATPase synthesis and up regulation of mucin secretion in stomach and duodenum. Thus the findings strongly suggests that P. dulce may be included in antiulcer drug formulations either singly or with other known herbal medicines for the prevention and treatment of peptic ulcer.
Key words: H+, K+-ATPase β subunit, MUC6, MUC2, P. dulce (Fabaceae), Peptic Ulcer.