Pentagastrin increases pepsin secretion without increasing its fractional synthetic rate

M. E. Corbett, E. J S Boyd, J. G. Penston, K. G. Wormsley, P. W. Watt, M. J. Rennie

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    We studied the effects of increasing doses of pentagastrin on gastric secretion of pepsin and on incorporation of L-[1-13C]leucine into gastric aspirate protein as an index of pepsin synthesis. Pentagastrin (0.25-4.0 μg · kg-1 · h-1) significantly increased pepsin output from basal 76 mg/h to ≤ 181 mg/h but did not significantly alter incorporation of L-[1- 13C]leucine from the basal fractional synthetic rate of 3.63 ± 0.05%/h. In four subjects in whom infusion of tracer leucine was continued for > 1 day, aspiration of pepsin between 24 and 27 h demonstrated that plateau 13C labeling of leucine in pepsin had been attained, but at a value that was only 48% of the 13C labeling of plasma α-ketoisocaproic acid (α-KIC) [0.730 ± 0.02 (SE) vs. 1.520 ± 0.14 atoms %excess]. This suggests that actual rates of pepsin synthesis were approximately double those calculated on the basis of α-KIC labeling. The results are consistent with an interpretation that increasing doses of pentagastrin cause increased secretion of pepsinogen by recruitment of gastric chief cells, each synthesizing pepsinogen at an unaltered rate. Plateau 13C enrichment of α-KIC may not be a valid surrogate for plateau 13C leucine enrichment when fractional synthetic rates of some secreted proteins are calculated.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
    Issue number3 32-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995


    • α-ketoisocaproic acid
    • leucine
    • pepsinogen
    • stable isotope tracers


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