Effects of inhibition gastric acid secretion on arterial acid-base status during digestion in the toad Bufo marinus
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Digestion affects acid-base status, because the net transfer of HCl from the blood to the stomach lumen leads to an increase in HCO3- levels in both extra- and intracellular compartments. The increase in plasma [HCO3-], the alkaline tide, is particularly pronounced in amphibians and reptiles, but is not associated with an increased arterial pH, because of a concomitant rise in arterial Pco(2) caused by a relative hypoventilation. In this study, we investigate whether the postprandial increase in Paco(2) of the toad Bufo marinus represents a compensatory response to the increased plasma [HCO3-] or a state-dependent change in the control of pulmonary ventilation. To this end, we successfully prevented the alkaline tide, by inhibiting gastric acid secretion with omeprazole, and compared the response to that of untreated toads determined in our laboratory during the same period. In addition, we used vascular infusions of bicarbonate to mimic the alkaline tide in fasting animals. Omeprazole did not affect blood gases, acid-base and haematological parameters in fasting toads, but abolished the postprandial increase in plasma [HCO3-] and the rise in arterial Pco(2) that normally peaks 48 h into the digestive period. Vascular infusion of HCO3-, that mimicked the postprandial rise in plasma [HCO3-], led to a progressive respiratory compensation of arterial pH through increased arterial Pco(2) Thus, irrespective of whether the metabolic alkalosis is caused by gastric acid secretion in response to a meal or experimental infusion of bicarbonate, arterial pH is being maintained by an increased arterial Pco(2). It seems, therefore, that the elevated Pco(2), occuring during the postprandial period, constitutes of a regulated response to maintain pH rather than a state-dependent change in ventilatory control. (C) 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.