Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Archives of Pharmacology

, Volume 327, Issue 3, pp 228–233 | Cite as

Effects of nerve stimulation on enzyme secretion from the in vitro rat pancreas and 3H-release after preincubation with catecholamines

  • Jaipaul Singh
  • Geoffrey T. Pearson


In the presence of the cholinergic antagonist atropine, electrical field stimulation (FS) (5–20 Hz) caused a marked, reversible increase in the amylase output from superfused rat pancreatic segments. Adrenaline and noradrenaline evoked dose-dependent increases in amylase output which were similar to those produced by FS. The FS- and catecholamine-evoked amylase secretions were abolished by the β-adrenergic antagonist propranolol. The FS-evoked secretion could be abolished by either the removal of external Ca2+ or the application of tetrodotoxin (TTX, 2×10−6 M). FS also resulted in a reversible increase in the fractional efflux of tritium (3H) from rat pancreatic tissues preincubated with either 3H-noradrenaline or 3H-adrenaline. The effects of FS (5–20 Hz) on 3H efflux were abolished by TTX (2×10−6 M). TTX had no effect on the enhancement of 3H efflux caused by elevation of external potassium concentration (high K+, 75 mM). Removal of superfusate Ca2+ completely abolished both the FS- and high K+-induced increases in 3H efflux. These observations suggest that intrinsic nerve stimulation (i.e. FS) results in the Ca2+-dependent release of sympathetic neurotransmitter, noradrenaline, which has a direct secretory action on the rat pancreas. Furthermore, the findings suggest that adrenaline can be taken up by nervous elements. This raises the possibility that uptake and re-release of circulating adrenaline might contribute to the control of rat pancreatic enzyme secretion by the adrenergic nervous system.

Key words

Nerve stimulation Rat pancreas Amylase secretion 3H-Noradrenaline 3H-Adrenaline 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahren B, Ericson LE, Lundquist I, Sundler F (1981) Adrenergic innervation of pancreatic islets and modulation of insulin secretion by the sympatho-adrenal system. Cell Tissue Res 216:15–30Google Scholar
  2. Alm P, Cegrell L, Ehinger B, Falck B (1967) Remarkable adrenergic nerves in the exocrine pancreas. Z Zellforsch 83:178–186Google Scholar
  3. Anden NE (1964) Uptake and release of dextro- and laevo-adrenaline in noradrenergic stores. Acta Pharmacol Toxicol 21:59–75Google Scholar
  4. Barlow TE, Greenwell JR, Harper AA, Scratcherd T (1974) The influence of the splanchnic nerves on the external secretion, bloodflow and electrical conductance of the cat pancreas. J Physiol (Lond) 236:421–433Google Scholar
  5. Carlei F, Polak JM, Lezoche E, Tatemoto K, Caruso C, Mariani P, Pietroletti R, Dahl D, Ballesta J, Speranza V (1983) Neuropeptide Y (NPY) localization and distribution in the rat pancreas. Digestion 28:16–17Google Scholar
  6. Cegrell L (1968) The occurrence of biogenic monoamines in the mammalian endocrine pancreas. Acta Physiol Scand Suppl 314:5–60Google Scholar
  7. Chariot J, Roze C, de la Tour J, Souchard M, Vaille C (1983) Modulation of stimulated pancreatic secretion by sympathomimetic amines in the rat. Pharmacology 26:313–323Google Scholar
  8. Davison JS, Pearson GT, Petersen OH (1980) Mouse pancreatic acinar cells: effects of electrical field stimulation on membrane potential and resistance. J Physiol (Lond) 301:295–305Google Scholar
  9. Furata Y, Hashimoto K, Washizaki M (1978) β-Adrenergic stimulation of exocrine secretion from the rat pancreas. Br J Pharmacol 62:25–29Google Scholar
  10. Greengard H, Roback RA, Ivy AC (1942) The effect of sympathomimetic amines on pancreatic secretion. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 74:309–318Google Scholar
  11. Harper AA, Vass CCN (1941) The control of the external secretion of the pancreas in cats. J Physiol (Lond) 99:415–435Google Scholar
  12. Hukovic S, Muscholl E (1962) Die Noradrenalin-Abgabe aus dem isolierten Kaninchenherzen bei sympathischer Nervenreizung und ihre pharmakologische Beeinflussung. Naunyn-Schmiedeberg's Arch exp Path Pharmak 244:81–96Google Scholar
  13. Kirpekar SM, Misu Y (1967) Release of noradrenaline by splenic nerve stimulation and its dependence on calcium. J Physiol (Lond) 188:219–234Google Scholar
  14. Langer SZ (1970) The metabolism of [3H] noradrenaline released by electrical stimulation from the isolated nictitating membrane of the cat and from the vas deferens of the rat. J Physiol (Lond) 208:515–546Google Scholar
  15. Langer SZ (1974) Presynaptic regulation of catecholamine release. Biochem Pharmacol 23:1793–1800Google Scholar
  16. Larsson LI, Rehfeld JF (1979) Peptidergic and adrenergic innervation of pancreatic ganglia. Scand J Gastroenterol 14:433–437Google Scholar
  17. Lenninger S (1974) The autonomic innervation of the exocrine pancreas. Med Clin N America 58:1311–1318Google Scholar
  18. Lingard JM, Young JA (1983) β-Adrenergic control of exocrine secretion by perfused rat pancreas in vitro. Am J Physiol 245:G690-G696Google Scholar
  19. Majewski H, Rand MJ, Tung LH (1981) Activation of prejunctional β-adrenoceptors in rat atria by adrenaline applied exogenously or released as a co-transmitter. Br J Pharmacol 73:669–679Google Scholar
  20. Mann FS, McLachlin LC (1917) The action of adrenalin in inhibiting the flow of pancreatic secretion. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 10:215–259Google Scholar
  21. Matthews EK, Petersen OH, Williams JA (1973) Pancreatic acinar cells: acetylcholine-induced membrane depolarization, calcium efflux and amylase release. J Physiol (Lond) 234:689–701Google Scholar
  22. Matthews EK, Petersen OH, Williams JA (1974) Analysis of tissue amylase output by an automated method. Analyt Biochem 58:155–160Google Scholar
  23. Narahashi T (1974) Chemicals as tools in the study of excitable membranes. Physiol Rev 54:813–889Google Scholar
  24. Nishiyama A, Katoh K, Saitoh S, Wakui M (1980) Effect of neural stimulation on acinar cell membrane potentials in isolated pancreas and salivary gland segments. Memb Biochem 3:49–66Google Scholar
  25. Pearson GT, Davison JS, Collins RC, Petersen OH (1981a) Control of enzyme secretion by noncholinergic, nondrenergic nerves in guinea-pig pancreas. Nature (Lond) 290:259–261Google Scholar
  26. Pearson GT, Singh J, Daoud MS, Davison JS, Petersen OH (1981b) Control of pancreatic cyclic nucleotide levels and amylase secretion by noncholinergic, nonadrenergic nerves: a study employing electrical field stimulation of guinea-pig segments. J Biol Chem 256:11025–11031Google Scholar
  27. Pearson GT, Singh J (1983) Nerve-mediated release of [3H] noradrenaline and [3H] adrenaline from in vitro rat pancreas. J Physiol (Lond) 346:116PGoogle Scholar
  28. Pearson GT, Singh J, Petersen OH (1984) Adrenergic nervous control of cyclic AMP-mediated amylase secretion in the rat pancreas. Am J Physiol 246:G563-G573Google Scholar
  29. Richins CA (1945) The innervation of the pancreas. J Comp Neurol 83:223–236Google Scholar
  30. Rinderknecht H, Marbach EP (1970) A new automated method for the determination of serum-amylase. Clin Chim Acta 29:107–110Google Scholar
  31. Rosell S, Axelrod J, Kopin IJ (1964) Release of tritiated epinephrine following sympathetic nerve stimulation. Nature (Lond) 201:301Google Scholar
  32. Scheele G, Haymovits A (1980) Potassium- and ionophore A23187-induced discharge of secretory protein in guinea-pig pancreatic lobules: role of extracellular calcium. J Biol Chem 255:4918–4927Google Scholar
  33. Thomas JE (1967) Neural regulation of pancreatic secretion. In: Handbook of Physiology 6:955–968Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaipaul Singh
    • 1
  • Geoffrey T. Pearson
    • 1
  1. 1.MRC Secretory Control Research Group, The Physiological LaboratoryUniversity of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

Personalised recommendations