Woe Is Me
Gastrin and the Regulation of the Gastrointestinal System
Department of Biology
Sacred Heart University
This case study tells the story of a 30-year-old man with intractable peptic ulcer disease. The persistence of the ailment, despite medical treatment, prompts his healthcare provider to evaluate him for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare disease characterized by excess production of gastrin. Gastrin, a gastrointestinal hormone, promotes acid secretion in the stomach. The excess gastrin in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome often leads to gastrointestinal ulcers. In this case study, students work in small groups to review the physiology of gastrin and its role in digestion. The students then must assess the effect of excess gastrin levels on homeostasis, on the anatomy of the stomach and on the function of another gastrointestinal hormone, secretin. The case is designed for undergraduate students in an anatomy and physiology course or a pathophysiology course.
- Describe the role of gastrin as a hormone, its function in digestion and its regulation.
- Compare the regulation of gastrin in a healthy individual and in an individual with ZES.
- Evaluate the effect of parietal cell hyperplasia in the pathophysiology of ZES.
- Describe the production of acid in the stomach.
- Compare the function and effect of secretin under normal physiologic conditions and in ZES.
- Assess the mechanism of action of proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) on ZES and assess why PPIs are an effective treatment in ZES.
KeywordsZollinger-Ellison syndrome; ZES; parietal cells; hyperplasia; peptic ulcer disease; MEN syndrome; secretin; gastrin; multiple endocrine neoplasia; gastrinoma
Educational LevelUndergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Type / MethodsDirected, Discussion
Subject HeadingsAnatomy | Biology (General) | Physiology | Medicine (General) | Nursing |
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