Seven patients with giant hypertrophic gastropathy participated in a gastric intubation perfusion study to investigate the route and mechanism of protein leakage associated with this disease. All patients had gastric tight junctions wider than those in healthy controls. Acute administration of propantheline bromide reduced gastric albumin leakage (−50.7%, p < 0.05) and concurrently decreased width of tight junctions (p < 0.05) in all patients. Another antisecretory agent, cimetidine, had no consistent effect on protein leakage or on the width of tight junctions. Pentagastrin and bethanechol chloride increased protein loss but had no effect on the width of tight junctions. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that proteins may take a paracellular route via the tight junctions as they traverse the gastric mucosa and that this may have a cholinergic mechanism.
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