Acute and Chronic Actions of Alcohol on Pancreatic Exocrine Secretion in Humans and Animals

  • Manfred V. Singer
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 80)


There is considerable experimental evidence that acute and chronic administration of ethanol induces secretory modifications of the pancreas in humans and laboratory animals. Acute intravenous administration of ethanol inhibits the stimulation by secretin and cholecystokinin of pancreatic water, bicarbonate and protein in non-alcoholic humans and most species of animals tested. In vitro studies suggest a direct toxic action of ethanol on the pancreatic acinar and ductal cells, but the precise mechanism has not been identified. Since atropine, pentolinium and truncal vagotomy diminished the ethanol-induced inhibition of pancreatic exocrine secretion in the intact animal, it was postulated that the action of ethanol on the pancreas is at least partly mediated by inhibitory cholinergic mechanisms (eg inhibitory fibres of the vagal nerves). Whether the extrinsic and intrinsic peptidergic nerves and paracrine transmitters are involved is not known. It is also conceivable that intravenous ethanol inhibits hormonally induced pancreatic secretion by blocking the pancreatic response to these secretagogues (eg by distorting their receptors).


Pancreatic Secretion Pancreatic Polypeptide Chronic Alcoholism Pancreatic Exocrine Secretion Truncal Vagotomy 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manfred V. Singer
    • 1
  1. 1.Abt fur GastroenterologieUniversitatslkinikum EssnEssen 1Federal Republic of Germany

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