Inhibition of acid secretion in guinea pigs by tricyclic antidepressants: Comparison with ranitidine and omeprazole

S. Batzri, O. Brugada, J. W. Harmon, N. M. Rich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The antisecretory properties of imipramine on gastric secretion in guinea pig in comparison with other antisecretory agents was determined. In awake guinea pigs s.c. infusion of histamine (30 μg/kg/hr) increased acid and fluid secretion by 3- to 4-fold. When acid output peaked, a bolus administration of the tricyclic antidepressant imipramine inhibited acid and fluid secretion. Imipramine and other agents, such as ranitidine and omeprazole inhibited gastric secretion in a dose-dependent fashion. The most potent was the H2-antagonist ranitidine (IC50, 0.2-0.3 μmol/kg), followed by the gastric H-K-adenosine triphosphatase inhibitor, omeprazole (IC50, 0.5-0.6 μmol/kg). Imipramine (IC50 1-2 μmol/kg) was the least potent of the inhibitors. Both ranitidine and omeprazole could abolish acid secretion, but maximal inhibition with imipramine was 60% of initial. Promethazine (25 μmol/kg), an H1 antagonist, and atropine (12 μmol/kg), a muscarinic antagonist, inhibited gastric secretion by 40 to 50%. Imipramine and atropine also inhibited basal acid secretion. In dispersed gastric cells comparison between imipramine and omeprazole showed that imipramine was about 5-fold more potent than omeprazole in blocking histamine or dibutyryl cyclic AMP stimulation of aminopyrine accumulation. Imipramine probably acts as a protonophore by increasing the rate of proton-gradient dissipation rather than by interfering with the hydrogen-pump system because, in gastric membranes, imipramine was 20-fold less potent than omeprazole in inhibiting the gastric H-K-adenosine triphosphatase activity. These results suggest that imipramine administered s.c. in guinea pigs is a potent antisecretory drug. Its action may be due to a combination of anticholinergic and antihistamine H2 activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)493-499
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Pharmacology


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