Microinjection of TRH analogue into the dorsal vagal complex stimulates pancreatic secretion in rats.
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) stimulates pancreatic exocrine secretion through the vagus nerve when injected into rat cerebrospinal fluid. However, little is known about the exact site of action of TRH in the brain to stimulate pancreatic secretion. Recent neuroimmunochemical and neurophysiological studies suggest that TRH could be a neurotransmitter in the dorsal vagal complex, which sends fibers to the pancreas through the vagus nerve. We therefore hypothesized that TRH may act centrally in the dorsal vagal complex to stimulate pancreatic exocrine secretion. To address this question, a TRH analogue, [1-methyl-(S)-4,5-dihydroorotyl]-L-histidyl-L-prolinamide- NH2, was microinjected into the dorsal vagal complex, and basal pancreatic fluid flow and protein secretion were measured in urethan-anesthetized rats. Microinjection of TRH analogue (0.2-2 ng/site) into the dorsal vagal complex significantly stimulated pancreatic flow and protein output in a dose-dependent manner. As a control, microinjection of the TRH analogue into the brain stem outside the vagal complex failed to stimulate pancreatic secretion. Either bilateral subdiaphragmatic vagotomy or atropine abolished the ability of the TRH analogue to stimulate pancreatic secretion. Our data suggest that TRH acts in the dorsal vagal complex to stimulate pancreatic secretion through vagus-dependent and cholinergic pathways. The dorsal vagal complex may play an important role as a central site for control of the exocrine pancreas.
Okumura, T; Taylor, IL; Pappas, TN
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