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Gastroenterology. 1991 Feb;100(2):537-43.

Interaction of the cholinergic system and cholecystokinin in the regulation of endogenous and exogenous stimulation of pancreatic secretion in humans.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Marburg, Germany.


Pancreatic enzyme secretion is regulated in humans by the cholinergic system and by cholecystokinin (CCK). The interaction between both regulatory systems in response to exogenous and endogenous stimulation was analyzed in the present study using the cholinergic antagonist atropine and the CCK antagonist loxiglumide. A dose-dependent stimulation of pancreatic enzyme output was achieved either by duodenal perfusion of graded caloric loads or by IV infusion of increasing doses of cerulein. Prestimulated pancreatic secretion was inhibited by atropine and loxiglumide. Atropine furthermore almost completely blocked meal-stimulated pancreatic secretion, whereas loxiglumide caused 60% inhibition. The enzyme response to graded doses of exogenous CCK was significantly inhibited by atropine and loxiglumide. Plasma levels of CCK were not altered by atropine but increased with infusion of loxiglumide. This study supports the concept that pancreatic enzyme secretion is predominantly dependent on a cholinergic tone and that CCK modulates the enzyme-secretory response.

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