The glucagon-secreting potency of 22 amino acids was investigated in the rat isolated perfused pancreas. Arginine and the structurally related amino acids were the most potent A2-cell stimulators that induced a biphasic and sustained glucagon release. Dose-response curves were different for L(+) and D(+)arginine, and the suppressor effect of glucose on the response to L(+) arginine was not detected in the presence of D(+) arginine or homoarginine. Citrul-line was the only exception among the arginine-related amino acids; it displayed neither stimulatory nor inhibitory potency on glucagon release. The A2-cell response to D(+) amino acids and artificial analogues of arginine is a strong case for the theory of amino acid receptors' triggering the release of the hormone before (or in the absence of) further metabolism. The prominent rank of arginine and or ni thine among stimulatory amino acids and some other physiologic evidence suggest that A2-cell may play a regulatory role in the metabolism of ammonia by the liver.

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