, Volume 33, Issue 12, pp 1544-1548

Effect of aging on gastric acid secretion, serum gastrin, and antral gastrin content in rats

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The purpose of this study was to characterize the effects of aging on gastric acid secretion and on serum and antral concentrations of gastrin in rats. Young and old Fischer 344 rats were prepared with gastric fistulas. Twenty-four hours after surgery, graded doses of human synthetic gastrin-17 (SHG-17) (2, 5, 10, 20, and 40 μg/kg) were given intravenously in random order. Gastric secretions were collected for gastric acid measurement before and at 15-min intervals after each dose of gastrin. In a separate study, blood was collected and the stomachs were removed for antral gastrin extraction from fed young and old rats. Serum and antral gastrin was measured by radioimmunoassay. The basal and gastrin-stimulated acid secretions were significantly decreased in aged rats compared to the young rats. The basal acid output was 0.4±0.2 μeq/15 min in the aged rats and 1.5±0.5 μeq/15 min in the young. The maximal acid output stimulated by gastrin was 11.1±1.8 μeq/15 min in the aged rats and 24.2±2.8 μeq/15 min in the young. Both serum and antral concentrations of gastrin were significantly decreased in aged rats. Serum gastrin concentration was 114.8±7.4 pg/ml in the aged rats and 192.0±14.4 pg/ml in the young. Antral gastrin concentration was 3.9±0.5 μg/g tissue in the aged rats, which was significantly less than the concentration in the young (6.5±0.4 μg/g tissue). Antral gastrin content did not change with aging. Gastric acid secretion in aged rats is significantly decreased compared to the young in both the basal condition and in response to fixed doses of exogenous gastrin. Diminished concentrations of circulating gastrin may well be responsible, at least in part, for the diminished acid secretion in the aged rats.

Part of this work was presented at the special session on aging during the Digestive Disease Week held by the American Gastroenterology Association (AGA) in New York, May 14, 1985, and has been published in abstract form (Gastroenterology 88:1445, 1985).
Supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (RO1 DK 15241, PO1 DK 35608, RCDA CA 00854, CA 38651) and a grant from the American Cancer Society (PDT-220).