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J Gastroenterol. 2003;38(11):1025-35.

Secretin, 100 years later.

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  • 1Rochester Institute for Digestive Diseases and Sciences, 222 Alexander Street, Suite 3100, Rochester, NY 14607, USA.


One hundred years have elapsed since the discovery of secretin by Bayliss and Starling in 1902. In the past century, the research of secretin has gone by many milestones including isolation, purification and structural determination, chemical synthesis, establishment of its hormonal status by radioimmunoassay and immunoneutralization, identification of the specific receptor, cloning of secretin and its receptor, and identification of a secretin-releasing peptide. It has become clear that secretin is a hormone-regulating pancreatic exocrine secretion of fluid and bicarbonate, gastric acid secretion, and gastric motility. The release and actions of secretin is regulated by hormone-hormonal and neurohormonal interactions. The vagus nerve, particularly its afferent pathway, plays an essential role in the physiological actions of secretin. Substantial information about the property of the secretin receptor has been accumulated, but a potent secretin receptor-specific antagonist remains to be formulated. The neural regulatory mechanisms of the release and action of secretin await further elucidation. The physiological role of secretin in intestinal secretions and motility and extragastrointestinal organs remains to be defined. The presence of secretin and its receptor in the central nervous system is well documented, but its function as a neuropeptide has been recognized gradually and requires extensive study in the future.

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