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J Physiol. 1975 Dec;253(1):157-73.

The release of pancreatic glucagon and inhibition of insulin in response to stimulation of the sympathetic innervation.


The changes in the concentration of glucagon and insulin in arterial plasma which occur in response to splanchnic nerve stimulation have been investigated in adrenalectomized dogs, cats and sheep. 2. In dogs, stimulation of both splanchnic nerves at a low frequency (2-0 c/s) for 10 min produced a small but statistically significant increase in plasma glucagon concentration and appeared to inhibit the release of insulin. Stimulation at a higher frequency (10-0 c/s) produced a much greater increase in plasma glucagon concentration, which was normally accompanied by a rise in plasma glucose concentration. 3. Qualitatively similar changes in plasma glucagon and insulin concentration were observed in both sheep and cats in response to adrenergic stimulation. 4. Intramesenteric infusions of glucagon at a dose of 5-0 ng kg-1 min-1 in dogs produced a comparable rise in plasma glucagon concentration to that elicited by splanchnic nerve stimulation at high frequency (10-0 c/s) and invariably caused a rise in plasma glucose concentration. 5. In dogs given exogenous glucose, release of glucagon in response to splanchnic nerve stimulation was unaffected by induced hyperglycaemia. Secretion of insulin was partially inhibited by stimulation at 2-0 c/s and completely suppressed at higher frequency (10-0c/s). 6. It is concluded that stimulation of the sympathetic innervation to the pancreatic islets, at frequencies within thephysiological range, stimulates the release of glucagon and inhibits that of insulin in each of these species.

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