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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Plasma concentrations of neurotensin and CCK in patients with chronic pancreatitis with and without enzyme substitution.

The peptide hormones neurotensin (NT) and cholecystokinin (CCK) are commonly attributed with a physiological role in the stimulation of exocrine pancreatic secretion. However, on the other hand, little is known about the effect of diminished exocrine pancreatic function and of the resulting maldigestion on postprandial plasma levels of these two gastrointestinal peptides. We investigated, therefore, the effect of enzyme substitution therapy on the magnitude and time course of plasma concentrations of both hormones in patients suffering from severe chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatic insufficiency led to elevated NT-concentrations, in response to a standard meal, which could be reduced by enzyme replacement therapy. Prior to enzyme therapy, the mean integrated postprandial release of NT amounted to 2800 +/- 250 pg/ml after 60 min in patients with severe chronic pancreatitis. This amount was significantly reduced to 1250 +/- 150 pg/ml after 60 min after enzyme therapy, compared to 810 +/- 90 pg/ml after 60 min in healthy volunteers after the standard meal. The integrated postprandial CCK level in patients investigated was significantly lower (35 +/- 4.8 pmol/L after 60 min) without any substitution therapy, compared to the integrated peptide amount in healthy volunteers (145 +/- 13.5 pmol/L after 60 min). Enzyme therapy in patients suffering from chronic pancreatitis led to an increased postprandial CCK-level (80 +/- 9.6 pmol/L after 60 min). Elevated CCK-plasma concentrations have not been demonstrated in these patients with pancreatic insufficiency. We therefore suggest that CCK might not play a major role in feedback regulation in patients with chronic pancreatitis. However, in light of elevated NT plasma concentrations in patients with chronic pancreatitis, NT-mediated influence on the pancreas deserves further study.[1]


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