A direct role for secretory phospholipase A2 and lysophosphatidylcholine in the mediation of LPS-induced gastric injury.

Publication Date



Shock. 2010 June; 33(6): 634–638.


Endotoxemia from sepsis can injure the gastrointestinal tract through mechanisms that have not been fully elucidated. We have shown that LPS induces an increase in gastric permeability in parallel with the luminal appearance of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2) and its product, lysophosphatidylcholine (lyso-PC). We proposed that sPLA2 acted on the gastric hydrophobic barrier, composed primarily of phosphatidylcholine (PC), to degrade it and produce lyso-PC, an agent that is damaging to the mucosa. In the present study, we have tested whether lyso-PC and/or sPLA2 have direct damaging effects on the hydrophobic barriers of synthetic and mucosal surfaces. Rats were administered LPS (5 mg/kg, i.p.), and gastric contents were collected 5 h later for analysis of sPLA2 and lyso-PC content. Using these measured concentrations, direct effects of sPLA2 and lyso-PC were determined on (a) surface hydrophobicity as detected with an artificial PC surface and with intact gastric mucosa (contact angle analysis) and (b) cell membrane disruption of gastric epithelial cells (AGS). Both lyso-PC and sPLA2 increased significantly in the collected gastric juice of LPS-treated rats. Using similar concentrations to the levels in gastric juice, the contact angle of PC-coated slides declined after incubation with either pancreatic sPLA2 or lyso-PC. Similarly, gastric contact angles seen in control rats were significantly decreased in sPLA2 and lyso-PC-treated rats. In addition, we observed dose-dependent injurious effects of both lyso-PC and sPLA2 in gastric AGS cells. An LPS-induced increase in sPLA2 activity in the gastric lumen and its product, lyso-PC, are capable of directly disrupting the gastric hydrophobic layer and may contribute to gastric barrier disruption and subsequent inflammation.


Animals, Bee Venoms, Endotoxemia, Epithelial Cells, Gastric Mucosa, Humans, Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Interactions, Lipopolysaccharides, Lysophosphatidylcholines, Male, Phospholipases A2, Secretory, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Snake Venoms, Tumor Cells, Cultured