The alkaline tide phenomenon

J Clin Gastroenterol. 2002 Jul;35(1):5-8. doi: 10.1097/00004836-200207000-00003.


The parietal cell is capable of secreting high concentrations of hydrochloric acid into the lumen of the stomach. The apical membrane of this cell contains K+H+ ATPase, which is responsible for proton transport into the lumen. Potassium and chloride channels are also present. The basolateral membrane of the parietal cell possesses transporters that maintain intracellular homeostasis. Specifically, large amounts of bicarbonate that are generated by carbonic anhydrase must be removed from the cell to prevent alkalinization. Efflux of bicarbonate into the blood after acid secretion can be detected and is known as the alkaline tide. Determination of the alkaline tide has been used to measure acid secretion. In this review, we summarize the published data.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium*
  • Cell Membrane / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ion Channels / physiology
  • Ion Transport / physiology
  • Parietal Cells, Gastric / metabolism
  • Parietal Cells, Gastric / physiology*


  • Ion Channels