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

Action of neurotensin on size, composition, and growth of pancreas and stomach in the rat.

Since the gastrointestinal peptide neurotensin has a stimulatory effect on the secretion of the exocrine pancreas and an inhibitory effect on secretion and motility of the stomach, we investigated whether chronic parenteral administration of neurotensin would affect pancreatic and gastric growth. We therefore infused synthetic neurotensin subcutaneously (dose, 43 and 282 pmol X kg-1 X min-1) in 20 Wistar rats for 2 weeks using Alzet osmotic minipumps and compared pancreatic weight, DNA, RNA, protein, lipase, amylase, pancreatic polypeptide and insulin with these parameters in 10 control rats from the same litter with subcutaneously implanted plastic cylinders approximately the size of the minipumps. In another experiment, synthetic neurotensin (836 pmol X kg-1) was injected intraperitoneally three times a day for 3 days in 12 rats. Thereafter, we measured pancreatic DNA and in vitro incorporation of [3H]thymidine into pancreatic DNA. These effects were compared with the actions of caerulein and normal saline. Long term infusion of the high neurotensin dose induced an increase of pancreatic weight (control: 0.87 g, neurotensin: 1.02 g) and of DNA (control: 2.5 micrograms; neurotensin: 3.5 micrograms) and pancreatic polypeptide (control: 2.4 ng; neurotensin: 7.4 ng) contents, whereas pancreatic protein, RNA, amylase and lipase contents were not stimulated. In relation to DNA, these parameters even were significantly depressed. Insulin remained unchanged. Intraperitoneal injection of neurotensin induced an increase of pancreatic DNA content and stimulated [3H]thymidine incorporation into DNA (control: 11 000 dpm/g; neurotensin: 15 800 dpm/g pancreas). Moreover, long-term neurotensin infusion with the high dose led to a rise in protein concentration and an increase in the thickness of the gastric antrum; antral DNA concentration was insignificantly stimulated. Parenteral neurotensin in the doses and at the times administered, led therefore, to hyperplasia of the pancreas and induced growth of the gastric antrum. It is concluded that neurotensin can act as a trophic factor on pancreas and gastric antrum of the rat. It remains to be determined whether this represents a physiological effect of neurotensin.[1]


  1. Action of neurotensin on size, composition, and growth of pancreas and stomach in the rat. Feurle, G.E., Müller, B., Ohnheiser, G., Baća, I. Regul. Pept. (1985) [Pubmed]
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