To determine whether synthetic somatostatin originally isolated from sheep hypothalamus can inhibit hormone secretion in the same species, we measured plasma levels of GH, insulin, glucagon, and glucose of normal sheep under a variety of experimental conditions in the presence and absence of somatostatin infusion. An oral dose of 2.5 mg./kg. 3,5-dimethypyrazole increase plasma GH from 10.9 to 376.9 ng. per milliliter, which was suppressed by 50 per cent and 80 per cent with 0.5 and 1 mg. synthetic cyclic somatostatin, respectively. Linear somatostatin (0.5 mg.) was without effect in two animals tested. Propionate (0.5 mmole per kilogram) and arginine (10 gm.) induced a rise in plasma insulin and GH, and glucagon was effectively blocked by cyclic somatostatin (0.5 mg.). Similarly, somatostatin inhibited glucose, and glucagon provoked GH and insulin secretory responses without affecting glucose or FFA levels. Somatostatin had no effect on the disappearance of injected glucagon. Finally, addition of somatostatin to incubation media prevented PGE promoted GH release, and suppressed cyclic AMP accumulation, although to a lesser extent, in sheep anterior pituitary pieces. In view of the large amounts required to suppress stimulated hormone release and the general lack of specificity of somatostatin, it is suggested that this peptide may have a functional role only in the release of hormones of the pituitary, where it could occur in relatively high local concentrations. Its inhibition of extrapituitary hormone secretion may be purely a pharmacologic effect that, nevertheless, suggests an interference with a step common to the secretory process of hormones.

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