The isolated perfused canine pancreas with duodenal exclusion was used to examine islet hormone output in response to arginine and exogenous glucagon and insulin. Exogenous glucagon (100 ng/ml) stimulated insulin and somatostatin secretion, which occurred in a biphasic pattern. The insulin response to glucagon was markedly enhanced by increased perfusate glucose, unlike the somatostatin response, which was little affected. The insulin and somatostatin responses were seen between 15 and 45 s after the glucagon stimulus. Pancreatic polypeptide secretion was uninfluenced by exogenous glucagon.

Biphasic release of glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide was evoked by 10 mM arginine, the responses first being apparent within less than 30 s. Exogenous insulin (50 mU/ml) infused for 10 min had no statistically significant effect on glucagon, somatostatin, or pancreatic polypeptide secretion. This study suggests that these four islet hormones may all be involved in the dynamic mechanisms of nutrient metabolism. In addition, potential intra-islet paracrine effects are identified.

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