, Volume 41, Issue 2, pp 127-133

Angiotensin II and the endocrine pancreas: effects on islet blood flow and insulin secretion in rats

Summary

An intrinsic angiotensin system has been described in the pancreas, with angiotensin II specific receptors being present on both exocrine, endocrine and vascular cells. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of angiotensin II on insulin secretion and blood flow regulation in the pancreas. Blood flows were determined with a microsphere technique. Infusion of angiotensin II induced a dose-dependent reduction in both whole pancreatic and islet blood flow, which was most pronounced in the former. Administration of enalaprilate, an inhibitor of angiotensin-converting enzyme, and saralasin, a non-selective angiotensin II receptor antagonist, preferentially increased islet blood flow. The effects of angiotensin II on insulin release were examined by measuring insulin concentrations in the effluents from isolated perfused pancreata. In these preparations, enalaprilate affected neither basal nor glucose-stimulated insulin release, whereas angiotensin II delayed the first phase of insulin release in response to glucose. The effect of angiotensin II was probably due to initial marked vasoconstriction. The retardation of insulin release could be avoided by adding angiotensin II to the perfusion medium 20 min before glucose administration, i. e. so that the vasoconstriction had disappeared when glucose-stimulation began. The present study suggests that the angiotensin-system is important in regulation of islet blood flow and points to a pivotal role of islet blood perfusion for an adequate insulin release. [Diabetologia (1998) 41: 127–133]

Received: 7 April 1997 and in revised form: 27 August 1997