Teaching the role of secretin in the regulation of gastric acid secretion using a classic paper by Johnson and Grossman

Adv Physiol Educ. 2009 Sep;33(3):165-8. doi: 10.1152/advan.00023.2009.


The regulation of gastric acid secretion has been the subject of investigation for over a century. Inhibition of gastrin-induced acid secretion by the intestine-derived hormone secretin provides a classic physiological example of negative feedback in the gastrointestinal tract. A classic paper by Leonard R. Johnson and Morton I. Grossman clearly shows the ability of secretin to negatively regulate gastric acid secretion, providing students with an example of this feedback loop. In addition, this article demonstrates the step forward in gastrointestinal endocrinology that occurred when pure preparations of secretin and other gastrointestinal hormones first became available. The comparison of the effects of exogenous, purified secretin to the physiological stimulus of acid in the duodenum is an important example of how newly available reagents allow scientists such as Johnson and Grossman to clarify the mechanisms behind previously established processes. One or more figures from this classic paper can be used to give students insight into the role of secretin in the regulation of the function of the gastrointestinal tract and will also give students a clear example of how the careful experimentation and clear interest in gastrointestinal physiology led Johnson and Grossman to advance the field.

MeSH terms

  • Gastric Acid / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Secretin / physiology*
  • Teaching*


  • Secretin