Role of the proximal duodenum in gastrin regulation following antrectomy

G. B. Ratto, A. Sacco, G. Motta

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Antrectomy is accepted as the most effective surgical treatment of recurrent duodenal ulcer after complete vagotomy. Although antrectomy is aimed at reducing serum gastrin levels, both human and experimental reports seem to indicate that gastrin concentrations may be unchanged following this operation. The probable source of gastrin has been considered to be the proximal third of the duodenum, since at this level increased tissue gastrin concentrations were found after antrectomy. The present study was carried out in order to gain insight into the mechanism by which the duodenum may compensate for the removal of the antrum. Forty white rats were randomly divided into two equal groups and underwent antrectomy with gastroduodenostomy or simple laparotomy. Three to four months after surgery, serum gastrin determinations were carried out by radioimmunoassay both in fasted and freely fed rats. The duodenum was then removed and its proximal third was used for G cell counts (immunoperoxidase method) and for assessment of G cell cytoplasmic granule distribution (electron-microscopic examination). Antrectomy significantly increased fasting serum gastrin levels (p <0.01), while it completely abolished the gastrin response to food ingestion (p <0.001). In antrectomized rats, the duodenal G cell number was significantly higher than in control rats (p <0.001), whilst the G cell cytoplasmic granule number remained unchanged. In conclusion, the present study indicates that in the rat the proximal duodenum increases its content of tissue gastrin following antrectomy mainly by enhancing the regional G cell density.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Surgical Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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