Somatostatin induced changes in insulin and glucagon secretion in normal and diabetic dogs

H. Sakurai, R. Dobbs, Roger H Unger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


In conscious dogs iv infused somatostatin (3.3 μg per min for 1 hr) caused prompt and sustained declines in mean plasma insulin and glucagon, even during alanine infusion and intraduodenal casein hydrolysate feeding; plasma glucose declined, but not significantly. 6.7 μg per min of somatostatin significantly lowered pancreatoduodenal vein glucagon and insulin within 2.5 min and profoundly suppressed their secretion throughout the infusion. Consistent bihormonal suppression occurred at rates as low as 24 ng per kg per min, but was variable at 12 and 2.4 ng per kg per min. When somatostatin induced (3.3 μg per min) hypoglucagonemia was corrected by exogenous glucagon, hyperglycemia occurred. In dogs with long standing insulin requiring alloxan diabetes 3.3 μg per min of somatostatin suppressed glucagon to 55 pg per ml throughout the 30 min infusion and lowered glucose by 36.4 ± 6.1 mg per dl, about 1 mg per dl per min. Glucagon suppression was maintained despite alanine infusion, and glucose, which rose 29 mg per dl during alanine infusion without somatostatin, declined 58 mg per dl in the somatostatin treated diabetic dogs despite alanine. Continuous infusion of somatostatin for 24 hr in five insulin requiring alloxan diabetic dogs suppressed glucagon and lowered glucose significantly, usually to below normal. It is concluded that in normal dogs pharmacologic doses of somatostatin virtually abolish insulin and glucagon secretion in the basal state and during hyperaminoacidemia. Hyperglycemia occurs during somatostatin induced insulin lack only if hypoglucagonemia is corrected. Somatostatin suppresses glucagon in diabetic dogs and lowers their plasma glucose approximately 1 mg per dl per min, even when the gluconeogenic substrate alanine is abundant. Glucagon suppression can be maintained for several hours in such dogs and hyperglycemia is thereby reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1395-1402
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1974

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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