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Epidermal growth factor in saliva and gastric juice: response to histamine.
  1. A M Tunio,
  2. M Hobsley
  1. Department of Surgery, University College London Medical School, London.

    Abstract

    Epidermal growth factor (EGF) was measured in saliva and in gastric juice under basal conditions and after histamine stimulation (0.04 mg kg-1h-1). Sixty subjects studied comprised 20 normal volunteers, 20 patients with duodenal ulcer (DU), and 20 patients with non-ulcer dyspepsia (NUD). There was no difference in basal salivary EGF concentrations between control and DU or control and NUD subjects, but the EGF concentration in DU patients exceeded that in NUD patients (p < 0.05). Basal gastric juice concentrations of EGF were similar in all three groups. There was no difference between basal salivary and gastric EGF concentrations (p > > 0.05). After histamine stimulation, salivary and gastric EGF concentrations increased in all three groups: the increase was greater in gastric juice than saliva (p < 0.0001). There were no significant differences in the salivary EGF concentrations of controls and NUD patients, or controls and DU patients, but values were significantly higher when DU and NUD patients were compared (p = < 0.05). In the gastric juice, EGF increased more in DU patients than in controls or NUD patients (p < 0.05). This effect was not linked to the greater acid secretion in DU than in the other groups. There was no influence of gender or smoking on the EGF concentration. This evidence suggests that the stomach itself may be able to secrete large amounts of EGF and that histamine is a potent stimulus. It is more likely that the gastric EGF is responding to the presence of a duodenal ulcer than that lack of EGF is responsible for persistence of the ulcer.

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