Somatostatin (somatotropin release-inhibiting factor, SRIF) is a 14-aminoacid cyclic polypeptide originally isolated from extracts of ovine hypothalamus (Brazeau et al., 1973) on the basis of its ability to inhibit the release of growth hormone (somatotropin) from rat pituitary cells in culture. Somatostatin is now known to be widely distributed throughout the body of vertebrates including in the extrahypothalamic nervous system, pancreas, stomach, intestine, thyroid, and kidney. The original concept of somatostatin as primarily an inhibitor of growth hormone release has been considerably expanded. It is now known to have a major role in regulating the secretion of thyrotropin-releasing hormone, glucagon, and insulin and in modulating many aspects of gut function, and it probably functions as a neuroactive substance in both the peripheral and central nervous systems.


Dorsal Root Ganglion Dorsal Horn Myenteric Plexus Median Eminence Myenteric Neuron 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • John R. Delfs
  • Marc A. Dichter

There are no affiliations available

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