Somatostatin inhibits pancreatic enzyme secretion at a central vagal site

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Original languageEnglish
Journal / PublicationAmerican Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Issue number2 28-2
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


The mechanisms and site of action of somatostatin-induced inhibition of pancreatic enzyme secretion were investigated using different stimulants of pancreatic secretion acting on different sites in anesthetized rats. Administration of graded doses of somatostatin-14 resulted in a dose-related inhibition of pancreatic protein secretion evoked by 2-deoxy-D-glucose, a central vagal stimulant that acts by stimulating the dorsal vagal nuclei. The lowest effective dose of somatostatin-14 was 1.0 μg · kg-1 · h-1; maximal effective dose was 25 μg · kg-1 · h-1, which resulted in complete inhibition of protein output. Similarly, somatostatin-14 at a dose of 25 μg · kg-1 · h-1 also completely inhibited pancreatic protein secretion in response to a physiological concentration of cholecystokinin octapeptide (CCK-8), which acts via a vagal afferent pathway. In contrast, pancreatic protein outputs evoked by bethanechol, which directly stimulates pancreatic muscarinic receptors, or electrical stimulation of the vagal trunk, which activates the vagal efferent pathway, were unaffected by somatostatin-14. In separate studies, we demonstrated that perivagal treatment with the sensory neurotoxin capsaicin impaired pancreatic responses to CCK-8 but had no effect on the inhibitory action of somatostatin-14 on pancreatic secretion evoked by 2-deoxy-D-glucose, ruling out an effect of somatostatin on the vagal afferent pathway. Similarly we also demonstrated that perineural capsaicin treatment of the celiac-superior mesenteric ganglia did not affect the inhibitory action of somatostatin. These findings indicate that somatostatin inhibits 2-deoxy-D-glucose- and CCK-8-evoked pancreatic enzyme secretion via a vagal pathway. Somatostatin acts on neither the peripheral vagal afferent or efferent pathway nor directly on the pancreatic acini but instead exerts its inhibitory action at a central vagal site.

Research Area(s)

  • 2-deoxy-D- glucose, bethanechol, cholecystokinin octapeptide, electrical vagal stimulation, vagal afferent pathway