Objective—To determine the effect of pH with or without pepsin or taurocholic acid on the bioelectric properties of gastric squamous mucosa in horses.
Sample Population—Gastric tissues obtained from 16 adult horses that did not have evidence of gastric disease.
Procedure—Bioelectric properties of squamous mucosa were determined, using modified Ussing chambers. Tissues then were exposed to mucosal pepsin (1 mg/ml) or taurocholic acid (2.5 mM) under neutral (pH 7.4) or acidic (pH 1.7) conditions.
Results—Exposure of mucosal sheets to an acidic pH resulted in an immediate and sustained decrease in transmembrane potential difference and calculated tissue resistance. Pepsin or taurocholic acid did not significantly affect bioelectric variables when added to a mucosal bath solution of pH 7.4. A synergistic effect between pepsin or taurocholic acid and mucosal acidification was not detected.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Mucosal acidification with or without pepsin or taurocholic acid resulted in reduced tissue resistance. These data support the contention that squamous erosions or ulcers in horses are mediated, in part, by prolonged exposure of gastric squamous mucosa to luminal acid. (Am J Vet Res 2002;63:744–749).