Other investigators have demonstrated that concentrations of immunoreactive somatostatin (IRS) are higher in blood from the hepatic portal vein or its tributaries than in blood from the hepatic or peripheral systemic veins of man and animals. This suggests that there is hepatic extraction of IRS from the portal system in vivo. In the rat, portal vein plasma IRS is reported to be heterogeneous and to contain, in part, a 1,600 mol wt form of IRS which is immunochemically similar to synthetic somatostatin and not significantly bound to high molecular weight plasma protein. Our study was undertaken to determine directly whether unbound synthetic cyclic somatostatin was cleared by the rat liver perfused through the hepatic portal vein in vitro with a recirculating, plasma-free, erythrocyte-containing perfusate.
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