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Evidence for immunoreactive somatostatin in the endocrine cells of human foetal pancreas

Naturevolume 256pages731732 (1975) | Download Citation



SOMATOSTATIN has been identified as a hypothalamic factor inhibiting the release of growth hormone1,2 by acting directly at the level of adenohypophysial cells. It also acts on pancreatic endocrine cells3,4 to inhibit the secretion of glucagon and insulin. Immunohistochemistry has localised somatostatin in the median eminence5–7 as well as in discrete cells of the Langerhans islets of several species8,9. The origin of pancreatic immunoreactive somatostatin poses a problem. It has been demonstrated that neither nerve fibres, nor nerve endings with immunoreactive somatostatin are found in the adult pancreas9. Therefore it has been suggested that the somatostatin detected in the pancreas does not result from absorption by these cells of somatostatin synthesised elsewhere (in the central nervous system for instance) but is produced by the pancreatic cells (probably A1 cells) themselves9. The results reported here show the presence of immunoreactive somatostatin in the pancreas of normal human foetuses and one totally anencephalic human foetus.

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  1. Laboratoire d'Histologie et Embryologie, UER Médicale Lyon Sud-Ouest, BP n° 12, 69600, Oullins, France

    • P. M. DUBOIS
    •  & C. PAULIN
  2. Laboratoire de Diabétologie, Hôtel Dieu, 75005, Paris, France

    • R. ASSAN
  3. Laboratoire de Physiologie de la Reproduction, INRA, 37380, Nouzilly, France

    • M. P. DUBOIS


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