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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Jul;1070:27-50.

Secretin: a pleiotrophic hormone.

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  • 1Department of Zoology, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, SAR, PRC.


Secretin holds a unique place in the history of endocrinology and gastrointestinal physiology, as it is the first peptide designated as a hormone. During the last century since its first discovery, the hormonal effects of secretin in the gastrointestinal tract were extensively studied, and its principal role in the periphery was found to stimulate exocrine secretion from the pancreas. Recently, a functional role of secretin in the brain has also been substantiated, with evidence suggesting a possible role of secretin in embryonic brain development. Given that secretin and its receptors are widely expressed in multiple tissues, this peptide should therefore exhibit pleiotrophic functions throughout the body. The present article reviews the current knowledge on the central and peripheral effects of secretin as well as its therapeutic uses.

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