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Gastroenterology. 1991 Feb;100(2):311-9.

Partial gastric corpectomy results in hypergastrinemia and development of gastric enterochromaffinlike-cell carcinoids in the rat.

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  • 1Gastrointestinal Research, AB Hässle, Mölndal, Sweden.


Studies in the rat have shown that partial gastric corpectomy, in which about 75% of the acid-producing oxyntic mucosa was removed, leads to markedly reduced acid secretion and a feedback increase in the plasma gastrin levels. Ten weeks after operation, the gastric enterochromaffin (ECL)-like cell density in the remaining part of the oxyntic mucosa had increased significantly. In the present study, the effects on the gastric ECL cells of lifelong persistent hypergastrinemia induced by partial (75%) corpectomy have been investigated. Seventy-five partially corpectomized rats and 40 control rats were investigated for plasma gastrin and oxyntic mucosal changes in a 124-week study. The partially corpectomized rats showed increased plasma gastrin levels after the operation; the mean increase compared with the controls was almost 10-fold during the entire study. The remaining oxyntic mucosa of the partially corpectomized rats differed from that of control rats in two respects, showing first general hypertrophy and second a marked hyperplasia of argyrophil ECL cells. The degree and incidence of these changes increased towards the end of the study, i.e., in the aging rats. An age-related increase in ECL-cell density occurred spontaneously also in the control rats but to a lesser extent than in the partially corpectomized group. ECL-cell carcinoids were found in the oxyntic mucosa of 26 of the 75 partially corpectomized rats. The first carcinoid was found 78 weeks after the beginning of the study. Six rats with carcinoids (23%) were found before week 104 (2 years) and the remainder, 20 (77%), were discovered later. No carcinoid tumor was found in the control rats. It is concluded that lifelong hypergastrinemia induced by partial corpectomy leads to the development of ECL-cell carcinoids in the oxyntic mucosa of some rats towards the end of their life span. This observation strongly supports the hypothesis that the gastric ECL-cell carcinoids found in rats treated with antisecretory drugs are caused by long-standing hypergastrinemia developing secondary to inhibition of gastric acid secretion.

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