It has recently been shown that somatostatin inhibits amylase secretion from isolated pancreatic acini by reducing cyclic AMP (cAMP) production [Matsushita, Okabayashi, Hasegawa, Koide, Kido, Okutani, Sugimoto and Kasuga (1993) Gastroenterology 104, 1146-1152]. To date, however, little is known as to the other mechanism(s) by which somatostatin inhibits amylase secretion in exocrine pancreas. To investigate the action of somatostatin independent of cAMP generation, we examined the effect of somatostatin in isolated rat pancreatic acini stimulated by 1 microM calcium ionophore A23187 and 1 mM 8-bromo-cyclic AMP (8Br-cAMP). Somatostatin inhibited amylase secretion evoked by a combination of A23187 and 8Br-cAMP in a dose-dependent manner. The maximum inhibition was obtained by 10(-7) M somatostatin, and at this concentration somatostatin inhibited the effect of A23187 and 8Br-cAMP by approximately 30%. In electrically permeabilized acini, an elevation of free calcium concentration resulted in an increase in amylase secretion and cAMP enhanced the secretion evoked by calcium. cAMP shifted the dose-response curve for calcium-induced secretion leftwards and elevated the peak value of secretion. Somatostatin inhibited the effect of cAMP on calcium-induced amylase secretion by shifting the dose-response curve to the right. To determine the involvement of a G-protein(s), we examined the effect of somatostatin in acini pretreated with pertussis toxin. Pretreatment of acini with pertussis toxin completely blocked somatostatin-inhibition of amylase-secretion evoked by A23187 and 8Br-cAMP. These results indicate that somatostatin decreases amylase secretion induced by cAMP and calcium by reducing the calcium sensitivity of exocytosis. A pertussis toxin-sensitive G-protein is also involved in this step.

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