The present study was designed to evaluate neurotensin as a hormonal regulator of gastric acid secretion in man. After a fat-rich meal, the strongest known stimulus of neurotensin release, plasma neurotensin-like immunoreactivity (NTLI) was elevated from 7.6 +/- 1.9 to 15.5 +/- 2.5 pM. Plasma NTLI was measured with antiserum L170, which requires the biologically active carboxyl-terminal hexapeptide of the neurotensin molecule for recognition and does not crossreact significantly with any known natural catabolite in human plasma. Intravenous infusion of neurotensin at 25 pmol X kg-1 h-1 resulted in a plasma level of 14.7 +/- 2.1 pM, similar to the maximal physiological level observed after the fat-rich meal. Intravenous infusion of neurotensin at 25 pmol X kg-1 h-1 during 2 h, however, failed to significantly inhibit peptone meal-stimulated gastric acid secretion measured by intragastric titration. The 2-h acid output to peptone was 40.8 +/- 6.2 and 41.3 +/- 6.9 mmol during the vehicle and the neurotensin infusion, respectively. Intravenous infusion of neurotensin at 100 or 400 pmol X kg-1 h-1 did not affect acid output, whereas at 1,600 pmol X kg-1 h-1, which resulted in a plasma neurotensin concentration of 725 +/- 80 pM, significantly reduced peptone meal-stimulated gastric acid secretion. The neurotensin-induced inhibition of acid output was independent of the hormone gastrin. The present results provide evidence against a hormonal role for neurotensin in the regulation of meal-stimulated gastric acid secretion in man.
M H Mogard, V Maxwell, B Sytnik, J H Walsh