New Research Shows That Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) Are Causing Leaks in the Lining of the Stomach
The research group of Dr. James Michael Mullin, Professor at the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR), recently co-authored two papers that describe how proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been shown to compromise upper gastrointestinal (GI) barrier function. These studies provide new information about an unexpected potentially harmful side effect of taking PPIs.
In the first study in patients, published in Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, they showed this leak occurred within three to five days of patients taking the drug for the first time and was reversed within four days of stopping the medication. The leak does no apparent immediate harm to the stomach but does allow molecules with a molecular weight less than 10000 to pass across the stomach lining without degradation. With this size exclusion limit, it is a possibility that other medications a patient may be taking orally can pass through this leak into the bloodstream intact. A second study published in Digestive Diseases and Sciences used an animal model and confirmed that PPIs induced a transmucosal gastric leak.
A potential clinical consequence of this phenomenon is unwanted elevation of these and other medications in the bloodstream and is now being examined in follow-up studies with the heart medication, digoxin. These studies were done in collaboration with the Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology at Lankenau Hospital, and will be reported at the May 2009 Annual Meeting of the American Gastroenterological Association in Chicago.
A Delaware County resident, James Michael Mullin, PhD joined the LIMR staff in 1986 after serving as a research associate at the Wistar Institute. He received his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Pennsylvania and his B.S. from St. Joseph’s College. He completed Postdoctoral Fellowships at both the Wistar Institute and Yale University. In addition to his work at LIMR, Dr. Mullin also serves as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Biology at St. Joseph's University and Director of Research, Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Lankenau Hospital.
Lankenau Institute for Medical Research:
Founded in 1927, the Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (LIMR) is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research center located in suburban Philadelphia on the campus of the Lankenau Hospital. Part of Main Line Health, LIMR is one of the few freestanding, hospital-associated medical research centers in the nation. The faculty and staff at the Institute are dedicated to advancing an understanding of the causes of cancer and heart disease. They use this information to help improve diagnosis and treatment of these diseases as well as find ways to prevent them. They are also committed to extending the boundaries of human health and well-being through technology transfer and education directed at the scientific, clinical, business and lay public communities. For more information visit their web site at www.limr.org.