The principal methods currently used to measure insulin secretion are briefly reviewed. From observed changes in concentration of immunoreactive insulin in plasma, insulin secretion in vivo can be more accurately assessed and smaller changes in secretion rate detected using pancreatic rather than systemic venous samples of blood. Measurement of secretion in vitro is complicated by the release from acinar tissue of a substance which destroys secreted insulin and similar polypeptides but whose action can be reduced or circumvented. When interpreting the effects of stimulants and inhibitors, it has also to be remembered that they could act indirectly through their actions upon other tissues of the body or upon cells other than the beta-cells of the pancreatic islets. These and other factors should be taken into account when interpreting data obtained by the several practical methods now used to study the insulin secretory process.

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