Somatostatin-like immunoreactivity (SLI) was measured in extracts of gastric antrum, colon, pancreas, and central nervous system, as well as in unextracted portal and inferior vena caval serum from fed, 15-h-fasted, and 72-h-fasted rats. No differences were found in SLI in the central nervous system of the three groups. However, striking variations were found in the gastrointestinal tract and pancreas; the antrum, colon, and pancreas of 15-h-fasted rats contained the least SLI, the content being significantly elevated in these three areas after feeding and after a 72-h fast. Portal serum levels were highest after feeding but lowest in 72-h-fasted rats, in spite of high intestinal and pancreatic SLI content in both. These tissue and serum differences suggest a physiologic role for SLI in nutrient homeostasis not only at tissue level, but also putatively as a hormone in the portal system.

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