INTEREST in the secretion of acid and pepsin by the gastric mucosa has overshadowed a secondary but equally challenging property of this complex physiological area. Acid which is secreted must be contained within the lumen of the stomach for a sufficient period of time to allow for acid peptic digestion. The ability to contain an acid solution against a high concentration gradient is an essential function of the mucosa of the stomach, a function made possible by the existence of a barrier which prevents the reabsorption of hydrogen ions from the lumen into the interstitial tissues. Hydrogen and sodium ions both compete for the same limiting mechanism by which they would be able to leave the lumen; but hydrogen ions are greatly favored over sodium and the loss of sodium from a nonsecreting stomach containing an acid solution is small in proportion to that of hydrogen.1 The importance of
WLODEK GK, LEACH RK. Effects of Histamine, Feeding, and Insulin Hypoglycemia on Net Ionic Fluxes in Gastric Pouches. Arch Surg. 1966;93(1):175–181. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01330010177022
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