The regulation of acid secretion in the stomach involves a complex network of factors that stimulate secretion in response to the ingestion of a meal and maintain homeostasis of gastric pH. Genetically engineered mouse models have provided a new opportunity to investigate the importance and function of specific molecules and pathways involved in the regulation of acid secretion. Mouse mutants with disruptions in the three major stimulatory pathways for acid secretion in parietal cells, gastrin, histamine, and acetylcholine, have been generated. Disruption of the gastrin pathway results in a major impairment in both basal and induced acid secretion. Histamine and acetylcholine pathway mutants also have significant alterations in acid secretion, although the impairment does not appear to be as severe as in gastrin pathway mutants, perhaps due in part to the hypergastrinemia that occurs. Mice with a disruption in the somatostatin pathway have increased gastric acid secretion, which confirms an important negative regulatory role for this factor. This review discusses these genetically engineered mouse models, as well as others, that provide insight into the complex regulation of in vivo gastric acid secretion. The regulation of growth and cellular morphology of the stomach in these mouse models is also presented. In addition, transgene promoters that are expressed in the gastric epithelium are discussed because these promoters will be important tools to alter cellular physiology in new mouse models in the future.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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