Leptin has cytoprotective effect to gastric mucosal injury in rats. We aimed to test the hypothesis that leptin induced histamine is involved in the prevention of ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) induced gastric mucosal injury in rats. At the end of the 30 min celiac artery occlusion and 12 h reperfusion process, serum and gastric tissue samples were taken from three group of rats to measure oxidative status, histamine levels and for histological examinations. Leptin decreased ulcer and polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMNL) index, and serum malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyl content but increased gastric tissue histamine levels. We concluded that leptin exerts a protective effect on gastric mucosa to I/R induced gastric injury probably through increasing tissue histamine content which, in turn, maintain the gastric mucosal blood flow. (C) 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.