Bismuth subsalicylate increases intracellular Ca2+, MAP-kinase activity, and cell proliferation in normal human gastric mucous epithelial cells

Jason Gilster, Kathy Bacon, Katie Marlink, Brett Sheppard, Clifford Deveney, Michael Rutten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Clinical and laboratory studies have shown that bismuth subsalicylate (BSS) is helpful in the healing of gastric ulcers because of the bactericidal effects of bismuth (Bi3+) on H. pylori. Bismuth or BSS has also been reported to possess other nonbactericidal or "gastroprotective" effects in the stomach. It is known in other cell types that the effects of extracellular divalent or trivalent cations (e.g., Ca2+) can activate a plasma membrane-bound calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR). In a previous study, we found the existence of a CaSR which was activated by extracellular Ca2+ and found to increase intracellular Ca2+ [Ca 2+]i, MAP-kinase activity, and gastric epithelial cell proliferation. In the present study, we were interested in determining whether the effects of the trivalent cation Bi3+ (in the form of BSS) on [Ca2+]i, MAP-kinase activity, and proliferation of gastric cells. We found that BSS dose dependently increased [Ca 2+]i, p44/p42 and p38 MAP-kinase activites, and gastric mucous epithelial cell growth. The addition of BAPTA to chelate intracellular Ca2+ blocked BSS-induced p44/p42 MAP-kinase activities but not p38 MAP-kinase activity. The p44/p42 MAP-kinase inhibitor PD98059 and the p38 MAP-kinase inhibitor SB203580 dose dependently decreased gastric mucous cell growth over a 24 hr. All of the BSS-induced changes in [Ca2+] i, MAP-kinase activity, and gastric cell proliferation could be reproduced with the CaSR-agonist gadolinium (Gd3+). Our data suggest that BSS may possess additional novel effects by increasing gastric mucous epithelial cell growth through a Ca2+/MAP-kinase-dependent pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-378
Number of pages9
JournalDigestive diseases and sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2004


  • Bismuth subsalicylate
  • Calcium
  • Calcium-sensing receptor
  • Culture
  • Gastric
  • Growth
  • MAP-kinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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