Helicobacter pylori increases gastrin release in duodenal ulcer patients. This may be through disruption or changes in the mucus layer affecting the access of luminal stimulants to gastrin releasing cells. The effect of suppressing H pylori on gastrin release stimulated by a non-luminal stimulus, gastrin releasing peptide (GRP), was examined. Eleven patients with active duodenal ulcer disease and colonised with H pylori received an intravenous infusion of GRP (2.9 pmol/kg/minute for 30 minutes) and the plasma gastrin response was measured. Basal and peak pentagastrin stimulated acid output were also determined. Patients were treated with tripotassium dicitratobismuthate (De-Nol) and metronidazole to suppress H pylori and the tests were repeated. Suppression of H pylori decreased plasma gastrin concentrations during GRP infusion, but acid output was not affected. Chromatographic analysis of the forms of gastrin in plasma showed a significant fall in gastrin 17, the predominant form found in the gastric antrum. Gastrin 34 did not fall significantly. This study shows that suppression of H pylori decreases the hypergastrinaemia caused by the nonluminal stimulant, GRP, mainly via decreasing gastrin 17.
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