We investigated the direct effects of physiological levels of epinephrine on the basal and arginine-stimulated secretion of insulin, glucagon, and somatostatin from the in situ pancreas in halothane-anaesthetized dogs.
An IV infusion of 20 ng/kg/min of epinephrine increased plasma epinephrine levels to 918±103 pg/ml (P<0.001), and increased the baseline pancreatic output of insulin (P<0.05), glucagon (P<0.05) and somatostatin (P<0.05). The acute insulin response (AIR) to 2.5 g of arginine during this infusion of epinephrine was significantly higher (P<0.05) than in controls as were the acute glucagon response (AGR) (P<0.05) and the acute somatostatin response (ASLIR) (P<0.05). Plasma glucose levels increased slightly and transiently during infusion of epinephrine from 99±2 mg/dl to a maximum of 110±3 mg/dl (P<0.05).
An IV infusion of 80 ng/kg/min of epinephrine produced plasma epinephrine levels of 2948±281 pg/ml, and increased the baseline pancreatic output of insulin (P<0.05) and glucagon (P<0.05). In contrast, baseline somatostatin output decreased transiently during this high dose infusion of epinephrine. The AIR and ASLIR to arginine were both significantly lower (P<0.05) than those during the infusion of epinephrine at the low dose. The AGR to arginine remained potentiated (P<0.05). Plasma glucose levels increased from 99±3 mg/dl to 119±4 mg/dl (P<0.01).
We conclude that the effect of epinephrine on islet hormone secretion is dependent on the plasma level of epinephrine. At stress levels of 900–1000 pg/ml, both insulin and somatostatin secretion are stimulated; only at near pharmacologic, or extreme stress levels, does epinephrine produce net inhibition.
In vivo Halothane anesthesia Stress Insulin Glucagon Somatostatin
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