These studies were designed to elucidate the mechanism of inhibitory action of somatostatin (SRIF) on glucagon (IRG) and insulin (IRI) secretion. Studies were carried out in the unrecirculated isolated rat pancreas perfusion with arginine 19.2 mM and glucose 5.5 mM as stimulus primarily for IRG but also IRI secretion. The effects of excess Ca++ (15.2 mEq./L.) and excess K+ (12.8 mEq./L.) on IRG, IRI, and the SRIF-inhibited pancreas were studied. Ca++ excess in five perfusions strikingly stimulated IRG secretion (+92 per cent) but only stabilized IRI secretion compared with control perfusions. K+ excess (in seven perfusions) markedly inhibited IRG secretion (–39 per cent) while stimulating IRI secretion (+16 per cent). Restoration of normal concentrations of K+ resulted in a rebound of IRG to levels 120 per cent that of controls. SRIF, at concentrations from 0.1–20 ng./ml., produced inhibition of both IRG and IRI. In 11 perfusions, with SRIF at 10 ng./ml., IRG decreased more than IRI (–75.2 per cent IRG and –46.9 per cent IRI). In five perfusions, addition of Ca++ (15.2 mEq./L.) 10 minutes after SRIF was started resulted in a reversal of IRG inhibition to 69.4 per cent and IRI to 73.2 per cent of the arginine controls. The reversal by Ca++ of SRIF effect on IRG was greater at higher concentrations of Ca++, suggesting some form of competition. In four perfusions, excess K+ reversed SRIF-induced IRI inhibition to 79.6 per cent that of controls but had no effect on IRG inhibition. Studies in vitro with isolated islets revealed that SRIF (2 μg./ml.) inhibited 45Ca uptake of islets as did epinephrine (10−5 M). It was concluded that SRIF-induced inhibition of hormone release appears related to an action on Ca++ uptake.

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