Gastrin binds to cholecystokinin B receptors to stimulate the release of histamines in enterochromaffin-like cells, and it induces the insertion of K+/H+ ATPase pumps into the apical membrane of parietal cells (which in turn increases H+ release into the stomach cavity). Its release is stimulated by peptides in the lumen of the stomach.
G cell is visible near bottom left, and gastrin is labeled as the two black arrows leading from it. Note: this diagram does not illustrate gastrin's stimulatory effect on ECL cells.
The presence of gastrin stimulates parietal cells of the stomach to secretehydrochloric acid (HCl)/gastric acid. This is done both directly on the parietal cell and indirectly via binding onto CCK2/gastrin receptors on ECL cells in the stomach, which then responds by releasing histamine, which in turn acts in a paracrine manner on parietal cells stimulating them to secrete H+ ions. This is the major stimulus for acid secretion by parietal cells.
Along with the above mentioned function, gastrin has been shown to have additional functions as well:
Stimulates parietal cell maturation and fundal growth.
Inhibitory factor: somatostatin - acts on somatostatin-2 receptors on G cells. in a paracrine manner via local diffusion in the intercellular spaces, but also systemically through its release into the local mucosal blood circulation; it inhibits acid secretion by acting on parietal cells.
In autoimmune gastritis, the immune system attacks the parietal cells leading to hypochlorhydria (low stomach acidity). This results in an elevated gastrin level in an attempt to compensate for increased pH in the stomach. Eventually, all the parietal cells are lost and achlorhydria results leading to a loss of negative feedback on gastrin secretion. Plasma gastrin concentration is elevated in virtually all individuals with mucolipidosis type IV (mean 1507 pg/mL; range 400-4100 pg/mL) (normal 0-200 pg/mL) secondary to a constitutive achlorhydria. This finding facilitates the diagnosis of patients with this neurogenetic disorder.
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