The effect of efferent, parasympathetic stimulation upon pancreatic polypeptide (PP) secretion was studied in three ways: (a) Plasma PP concentrations increased in response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in both normal subjects, from 11 pM (9.5-12.5) to 136 pM (118-147), n = 8 (median and interquartile range) and in duodenal ulcer patients, from 33 pM (21-52) to 213 pM (157-233), n = 7. The PP response to hypoglycemia was diminished by atropine in normal subjects (P < 0.005) and completely abolished by vagotomy in the duodenal ulcer patients. (b) Electrical stimulation, 8 Hz, of the vagal nerves in anesthetized pigs induced an increase in portal PP concentrations within 30 s from 32 pM (28-39) to 285 pM (248-294), n = 12. Minimal stimulatory frequency was 0.5 Hz and maximal stimulatory frequency 8-12 Hz. Atropine inhibited the PP response to electrical stimulation. Median inhibition with 0.5 mg of atropine/kg body wt was 74%, range 31-90%, n = 6. The response was eliminated by hexamethonium. Adrenergic alpha and beta blockade did not influence the release of PP in response to vagal stimulation. (c) Acetylcholine stimulated, in a dose-dependent manner, the secretion of PP from the isolated perfused porcine pancreas, half-maximal effective dose being 0.19 μM; maximal PP output in response to 5 min stimulation was 228 pmol, range 140-342 pmol, n = 5. Atropine completely abolished this response.


T. W. Schwartz, J. J. Holst, J. Fahrenkrug, S. Lindkær Jensen, O. V. Nielsen, J. F. Rehfeld, O. B. Schaffalitzky de Muckadell, F. Stadil


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