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Thread: Hydrochloric acid in GI tract

  1. #1 Hydrochloric acid in GI tract 
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    Hi,
    why do parietal cells in the stomach, pump also chloride anions into the lumen? Since the protons and chloride ions are transported separately, wouldn't protons themselves be sufficient for the whole process technically?
    Of course, there would be net positive charge, so it's compensation is probably the primary reason, but is there any other reason? Do some other organisms with similar GI tract use other kind of anions?

    Thanks,
    rickettsie


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  3. #2  
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickettsie View Post
    Hi,
    why do parietal cells in the stomach, pump also chloride anions into the lumen? Since the protons and chloride ions are transported separately, wouldn't protons themselves be sufficient for the whole process technically?
    Of course, there would be net positive charge, so it's compensation is probably the primary reason, but is there any other reason? Do some other organisms with similar GI tract use other kind of anions?

    Thanks,
    rickettsie
    Could it be because the H+ ions would be only vaguely likely to combine to form HCl in the absence of Cl- ions? jocular


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by jocular View Post
    Could it be because the H+ ions would be only vaguely likely to combine to form HCl in the absence of Cl- ions? jocular
    That's completely right. It does not answer my question however.
    The next step after "forming" HCl will be the its dissociation to protons and chloride anions. Chemical balance will form, but since HCl is a strong acid there will be much more protons than HCl "molecules". Protons will form oxonium ions with water, making the environment acidic. They will do their role in digestion, degrade some materials, activate some enzymes... I think protons themselves would be technically sufficient for the process. I can't see a role of chloride anions, except for the one I've already mentioned. And even if it's the only one, they could be replaced by some different anions of strong acids (if chloride ion wouldn't be present in the biggest amounts.)
    rickettsie
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    I'm not entirely sure of the answer to your question. Just to clarify, you are asking about the physiological significance of secreting Cl- into the stomach along with H+?

    I can only speculate, but it would make sense that the Cl- becomes important in the neutralization process that occurs in the duodenum with secretion of sodium bicarbonate. The reaction between the HCl and the NaHCO3 would yield sodium chloride and carbonic acid, which I think is an important step in the neutralization process. Just a thought!
    Check out my blog!! www.iRNAbooks.weebly.com
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by iRNAblogger View Post
    I'm not entirely sure of the answer to your question. Just to clarify, you are asking about the physiological significance of secreting Cl- into the stomach along with H+?
    Yeah, that's one part of my question. If there is some other usage of Cl anions except for the charge compensation.

    Quote Originally Posted by iRNAblogger View Post
    I can only speculate, but it would make sense that the Cl- becomes important in the neutralization process that occurs in the duodenum with secretion of sodium bicarbonate. The reaction between the HCl and the NaHCO3 would yield sodium chloride and carbonic acid, which I think is an important step in the neutralization process. Just a thought!
    Yeah, that's very good thought.
    "We concluded that the population of brush cells is high in the gastric groove, the duodenum adjacent to the pyloric ring, and the caecum, where NaHCO(3) is postulated to neutralize gastric HCL or organic acids produced by enteric bacteria. The brush cell population is low in the duodenum and jejunum, which receive bile and pancreatic juice."
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21424931

    But still I think most of the other anions would serve. It's true however, that the Cl anion is the one mostly present in the body. So why not to use it, rather than something which the body has to manufacture/have less of?

    Anyway, it still would be interesting for me to know, if any other organisms use different anions for the process. I don't know however, how to use Google for this particular case That's primarily why I asked.
    rickettsie
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