The important constituents of human gastric juice are HCl, electrolytes, pepsinogen, and intrinsic factor. The pH is low, about 0.7 to 3.8. This raises a question: How does the gastric mucosa protect itself from acidity? As mentioned earlier, the surface mucous cells secrete a fluid containing mucus and HCO3~ ions. The mucus forms a mucus gel layer covering the surface of the gastric mucosa. Bicarbonate trapped in the mucus gel layer neutralizes acid, preventing damage to the mucosal cell surface.
Was this article helpful?
This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.