Gastric mucosal lesions such as gastric ulcers and erosions are frequently observed in patients with liver cirrhosis. Although portal hypertension is suggested to play a role in the development of gastric mucosal lesions, the pathogenesis still remains undisclosed. Gastric mucosal blood flow (BF), potential difference (PD) and prostaglandin E(2)(PGE(2)) were analyzed using both rats with liver injury induced by carbon tetraoxide and rats with portal hypertension induced by incomplete portal occlusion. BF, PD and PGE(2) were lower in the rats with injured liver and with portal hypertension than in control rats. BF and PD were lower in the rats with injured liver than in the rats with portal hypertension. These results support the view that the impairment of the defensive factors of gastric mucosa represented by BF, PD and PGE(2) play an important role in the pathogenesis of gastric mucosal lesions in rats with injured liver. Portal hypertension was considered to be a factor contributing to the impairment of the defensive factors of gastric mucosa.