International Journal of Pancreatology

, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 189–205 | Cite as

Distribution, release, and secretory activity of epidermal growth factor in the pancreas

  • Jolanta Jaworek
  • Stanislaw J. Konturek


This study was designed to determine the distribution of immunoreactive epidermal growth factor (EGF) in the gastrointestinal tract and the action of this peptide on pancreatic secretion in vivo and in vitro. Immunoreactive EGF was found in large amounts in the salivary glands and the pancreas and in the pancreatic juice. EGF infused subcutaneously (50 µg/kg-h) in conscious rats with intact or removed salivary glands stimulated pancreatic protein secretion after 4 h of peptide infusion; this effect was completely prevented by the pretreatment with DL-difluoromethyl-ornithine (DFMO) (200 mg/kg), an irreversible inhibitor of activity of ornithine decarboxylase (ODC), a key enzyme in polyamine synthesis. EGF addedto the incubation medium in concentrations ranging from 10-10-10-6M increased, in a concentration-dependent manner both unstimulated and stimulated by caeruelin or urecholine, amylase release from dispersed pancreatic acini obtained from rats pretreated in 3 h with EGF in a dose of 50 µg/kg-h. Spermine given at concentrations ranging from 10-12-10-6M to the freshly prepared rat pancreatic acini also increased amylase release in a concentration-related manner. DFMO injected in a single dose (200 mg/kg), before the infusion of EGF to the rats, completely abolished the stimulatory effect of EGF on amylase release, but failed to affect that of spermine. This study shows that
  1. 1.

    EGF is present in large amounts in pancreatic tissue and pancreatic juice.

  2. 2.

    EGF stimulates pancreatic secretionin vivo and amylase release in vitro from isolated rat pancreatic acini.

  3. 3.

    The activation of ODC and polyamine biosynthesis in acinar cells plays an important role in EGF-induced stimulation of pancreatic secretion.


Key Words

Pancreas amylase caerulein urecholine ornithine decarboxylase EGF rats 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jolanta Jaworek
    • 1
  • Stanislaw J. Konturek
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PhysiologyMedical AcademyKrakowPoland

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