Somatostatin and the Endocrine Pancreas

  • John E. Gerich
Part of the Current topics in Molecular Endocrinology book series (CTME, volume 3)


Somatostatin is a 14-amino acid polypeptide originally isolated from the ovine hypothalamus by Guillemin and his co-workers at The Salk Institute (Brazeau et al. 1973). Because of its ability, at nanomolar concentrations, to inhibit the secretion of growth hormone and its presence in the hypothalamus of all species examined, it was believed to be a specific hypothalamic hormone (growth hormone release-inhibiting factor) analogous to prolactin release-inhibiting factor (Guillemin & Vale, 1975). Recent studies, however, indicate that somatostatin may have more extensive biologic importance. There is now considerable evidence that it exists outside the brain and hypothalamus—most notably in the small intestine (Polak et al. 1975, and Rufener et al. 1975b), stomach (Polak et al. 1975, Rufener et al. 1975b, and Arimura et. al. 1975), and D cells of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans (Polak et al. 1975, Rufener et al. 1975b, Arimura et al. 1975, Luft et al. 1974, Dubois 1975, Orci et al. 1975, Rufener et al. 1975a, Patel et al. 1975, and Goldsmith et al. 1975).


Growth Hormone Plasma Glucose Level Diabetic Ketoacidosis Glucagon Secretion Free Fatty Acid Level 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Gerich
    • 1
  1. 1.Metabolic Research Unit and Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaSan FranciscoUSA

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