It is well known that serum gastrin is an important hormone secreted by endocrine cells. Thus, it is important to study gastrin activity and its implications during digestion to better understand the impact that this hormone has upon the digestive system. Current research discusses the possibility that concentrations of gastrin may play a role in early detection of pancreatic endocrine tumors (PETs) in patients with multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN 1). One study concluded that early detection is possible.

It was found that raised serum pancreatic peptide (PP) and gastrin levels indicated the presence of PETs in patients suffering from MEN 1 (Langer et al 2001). However, another study refuted these findings (Migliori et al 2002). This study was undertaken to gain an understanding of general trends of gastrin-17 and gastrin-34 concentration levels in the stomach following a meal. In addition, these trends can then be applied to further studies involving the gastrin levels and their effects on patients suffering from MEN 1.

As shown in both Figure 1 and Figure 2, the mean concentration of both gastrin-17 and gastrin-34 increased over the first twenty minutes after a meal. At this point, they were at their climax and generally maintained this high point of concentration for the next forty minutes. In the following hour, gastrin-17 and gastrin-34 began to decrease in concentration. Comparing Figure 1 and Figure 2, it can be seen that the maximum concentration attained by gastrin-17 was approximately three times greater than the maximum concentration attained by gastrin-34.

In addition, the mean concentration of gastrin-17 was also much greater than that of gastrin-34 throughout the two-hour interval.