1. The effects of epidermal growth factor on the synthesis and secretion by human gastric mucosa of radiolabelled mucus glycoprotein have been studied in organ culture.

2. Addition of epidermal growth factor at a concentration of 5 or 10 ng/ml increased the synthesis of glycoprotein from 84 ± 16.2 d.p.m./μg of protein to 132 ± 19.5 and 156 ±20.2 d.p.m./μg of protein, respectively. The same doses increased secretion from 73.75 ± 17 d.p.m./μg of protein to 114.0 ± 26.4 and 141.5 ±31.4 d.p.m./μg of protein (P < 0.001).

3. As glycoproteins are the main constituent of the mucus defence barrier, epidermal growth factor-stimulated mucus production may contribute to gastric cytoprotection.

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