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The diurnal profile of gastric pepsin activity is reduced with Helicobacter pylori infection

Lookup NU author(s): Emerita Professor Julia Newton, Emeritus Professor Oliver James


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Both Helicobacter pylori and pepsin are proven mucosal damaging agents and implicated in the aetiology of peptic ulcer disease. Historically studies of pepsin over time have proved methodologically difficult, and as a result little work has been done on the effect of H. pylori on luminal pepsin secretion. our objectives were to determine pepsin activity over 24 hr in normal human subjects and to examine luminal pepsin activity in relation to H. pylori infection. Twenty-seven healthy volunteers had gastric juice samples aspirated every 2 hr for 24 hr. All subjects had H. pylori status determined by C13 urea breath test and serology. Meals were standardized throughout the study period. Gastric juice samples were measured for pH, diluted, and frozen in acetate buffer pH 4.1 for up to 1 month, conditions shown to cause no loss of activity. Individual samples were measured for pepsin activity by assaying for new N-terminal peptide formation. Mean pepsin activity (mug enzyme/ml) in 21 normal H. pylori-negative subjects ranged from 114 to 1030 mug/ml, with a characteristic diurnal profile of increasing activity to maximum after the evening meal. Mean pepsin activity in subjects with H. pylori was consistently below that for age-matched H. pylori-negative subjects at each time point. Overall mean pepsin activity was significantly lower in those with H. pylori compared to those without (P<0.001). There is significant pepsin activity in the stomach throughout the 24-hr period, with a trend for the highest activity through the night. Subjects with H. pylori infection have lower luminal pepsin activity.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Newton JL, James OFW, Williams GV, Allen A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Digestive Diseases and Sciences

Year: 2004

Volume: 49

Issue: 7-8

Pages: 1103-1108

ISSN (print): 0163-2116

ISSN (electronic): 1573-2568

Publisher: Springer


DOI: 10.1023/B:DDAS.0000037795.92727.9f


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