Reciprocal changes in antral gastrin and somatostatin mRNA in pernicious anemia
Moss, S.F.; Legon, S.; Calam, J.
Digestive Diseases and Sciences 39(2): 321-326
Somatostatin is involved in the regulation of gastrin by intragastric pH in animal models. To investigate whether this is so in man, we measured gastrin and somatostatin mRNA in endoscopic biopsies from six patients with hypergastrinemia and achlorhydria due to pernicious anemia and 12 age- and sex-matched controls. The pernicious anemia patients had significantly higher fasting plasma gastrin concentrations with a median (range) of 640 (420-3500) pmol/liter compared with 5 (2-58) pmol/liter, P < 0.001. The median gastrin mRNA/rRNA ratio was 10.4 (3.7-38.0) in the pernicious anemia patients compared with 1.7 (0.7-8.3) in the controls (P < 0.02), and it correlated strongly with the plasma gastrin concentration, r = 0.93, P < 0.0001. In contrast, the median somatostatin mRNA/rRNA ratio was lower in the pernicious anemia patients 0.84 (0.58-2.32) versus 2.04 (0.05-6.47) in the controls, P < 0.05. These findings suggest that in pernicious anemia gastric neutralization leads to hypergastrinemia through the modulation of antral gastrin synthesis by somatostatin.