Major in Biology

Justin R. Eberley, Samantha L. Frank, George S. Pinter, and Dr. Terri L. Provost

Effect of omeprazole intake on learning and memory, ChAt activity, protein absorption, anemic status, and serum cholesterol with a high protein diet

Omeprazole is used to treat heartburn by preventing hydrochloric acid (HCL) secretion from gastric parietal cells. The impact of lower than normal gastric HCL on protein digestion could have detrimental effects on physiological processes. The present study was conducted to determine the effect of omeprazole treatment on learning and memory as determined by a Morris water maze, neurochemical status determined by radiometric measurement of choline acetyltransferase activity, hematological status determined by hematocrit and hemoglobin levels, dietary protein absorption indicated by Lowry protein assay of fecal matter, and colorimetrically determined serum cholesterol concentrations. Thirty-six Swiss-Webster mice were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups, including standard rodent chow, standard rodent chow with 20 mg omeprazole, standard rodent chow with 40% protein, or standard rodent chow with 20 mg omeprazole and 40% protein. After 45 days of treatment the animals were euthanized and tissues were collected. Upon statistical analysis, no differences were found in neurochemical status, learning and memory, or hematocrit. Hemoglobin was highest and cholesterol was lowest in the 40% protein treatment group. As determined by fecal protein concentration, protein absorption is not affected by omeprazole treatment. In conclusion, omeprazole treatment had little impact on learning, memory, or neurochemical status. Further research is required to determine the cause of elevated hemoglobin and lower than normal cholesterol concentrations with omeprazole treatment.


Dr. Daniel Kurtz
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