The inhibitory actions of somatostatin (100 ng./ml.) on insulin release, stimulated by high glucose (20 mM), and on glucagon release, stimulated by arginine (15 mM), were studied with two in vitro systems: the isolated perifused rat islets prepared by the collagenase procedure and the isolated perfused rat pancreas. Suppression of arginine-induced glucagon release by glucose (20 mM) and glyceraldehyde (5 mM) was also assessed in both systems. With the perfused pancreas, somatostatin caused 32 per cent inhibition of glucose-mediated insulin release and inhibited arginine-induced glucagon release by 72 per cent. In the same system, glucose and glyceraldehyde were similarly potent inhibitors of arginine-induced glucagon secretion. In contrast to the isolated perfused pancreas, there was no significant somatostation suppression of glucose-induced insulin release or arginine-induced glucagon release whether the inhibitor was present prior to or was added during stimulation by glucose or arginine. Furthermore, glucose was only minimally active and glyceraldehyde ineffective in inhibiting glucagon secretion due to arginine in the perifusion system.
The most plausible explanation for the difference in the endocrine response of islet cells in the two types of widely used in vitro systems is that the alpha and beta cells have lost inhibitory receptors in the plasma membrane as a result of the collagenase isolation technic.