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Protective effects of hot spring water drinking and radon inhalation on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in mice

Etani, Reo*; Kataoka, Takahiro*; Kanzaki, Norie*; Sakoda, Akihiro; Tanaka, Hiroshi; Ishimori, Yuu; Mitsunobu, Fumihiro*; Taguchi, Takehito*; Yamaoka, Kiyonori*

Radon therapy using radon ($$^{222}$$Rn) gas is classified into two types of treatment: inhalation of radon gas and drinking water containing radon. Although short- or long-term intake of spa water is effective in increasing gastric mucosal blood flow, and spa water therapy is useful for treating chronic gastritis and gastric ulcer, the underlying mechanisms for and precise effects of radon protection against mucosal injury are unclear. In the present study, we examined the protective effects of hot spring water drinking and radon inhalation on ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury in mice. Mice inhaled radon at a concentration of 2000 Be/m$$^{3}$$ for 24 h or were provided with hot spring water for 2 weeks. The activity density of $$^{222}$$Rn ranged from 663 Bq/l (start point of supplying) to 100 Bq/l (end point of supplying).Mice were then orally administered ethanol at three concentrations. The ulcer index (UI), an indicator of mucosal injury, increased in response to the administration of ethanol; however, treatment with either radon inhalation or hot spring water inhibited the elevation in the UI due to ethanol. Although no significant differences in antioxidative enzymes were observed between the radon-treated groups and the non-treated control groups, lipid peroxide levels were significantly lower in the stomachs of mice pre-treated with radon or hot spring water. These results suggest that hot spring water drinking and radon inhalation inhibit ethanol-induced gastric mucosal injury.

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