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Current textbooks are believed to provide an updated knowledge. Medical students usually read the textbooks but not the literature that contain the original research articles and reviews. Here, we examined the gap between the current textbooks and literature with the enterochromaffin-like (ECL) cells as an example. A total of 70 textbooks that were published for medical education during the last 10 yr was examined. The literature has been searched mainly from the Internet. We found that most textbooks (59 of 70) fail to mention the ECL cells. Due to the lack of information on the ECL cells, the mechanisms behind gastric acid secretion are described variously from book to book. However, up to the year 2000, 574 research articles and reviews have been published on the various aspects of the ECL cells. The role of the ECL cells in the regulation of the acid secretion has been well demonstrated for more than 20 years. The fact that the textbooks are out of date cannot be explained by the time required to write and publish them. Therefore, we question whether or not the current textbooks are good enough for physiology education and suggest both teachers and students read not only the textbooks, but also utilize the other sources such as the Internet to find and fill the gaps between the textbooks and literature. This is one of the approaches of problem-based learning.
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