, Volume 28, Issue 11, pp 836-840

The alpha cell response to glucose change during perfusion of anti-insulin serum in pancreas isolated from normal rats

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Summary

To determine the effect of neutralization of endogenous insulin upon the glucagon response to a rise and fall of glucose concentration, pancreata isolated from normal rats were perfused with either a potent anti-pork insulin guinea pig serum or a nonimmune guinea pig serum for 30 min. During this period glucose concentration was changed from 100 mg/dl to either 130, 180 or 80 mg/dl for 10 min. Antiserum perfusion at 100 mg/dl caused an approximately two-fold increase in glucagon which was not suppressed by an increase in glucose concentration to either 130 or 180 mg/dl, although glucagon secretion was significantly suppressed in the control experiments in which nonimmune serum was perfused. However, the 0.38±0.21 ng/min rise in glucagon secretion in response to a reduction in glucose concentration to 80 mg/dl in the control experiments was not abolished by antiserum perfusion but, instead, was enhanced (2.66±0.60 ng/min). These findings suggest that insulin may be required for glucose-mediated suppression of glucagon in the isolated pancreas of normal rats but not for stimulation of glucagon secretion by mild glucopenia. Alternatively, neutralization of insulin-mediated release-inhibition of glucagon secretion may simply have altered alpha cell responsiveness in a direction that desensitized it nonspecifically to suppression and sensitized it to stimulation.

Senior Medical Investigator, Dallas Veterans Administration