Leucine-enkephalin (Leu-Enk) has been shown to be present in endocrine cells of the rat pancreas and may play a role in the modulation of hormone secretion from the islets of Langerhans. Since little is known about the effect of Leu-Enk on insulin and glucagon secretion, it was the aim of this study to determine the role of Leu-Enk on insulin and glucagon secretion from the isolated pancreatic tissue fragments of normal and diabetic rats. Pancreatic tissue fragments of normal and streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats were incubated for 1 h with different concentrations of Leu-Enk (10-12-10-6 M) alone or in combination with either atropine or yohimbine or naloxone. After the incubation period the supernatant was assayed for insulin and glucagon using radioimmunoassay techniques. Leu-Enk (10-12-10-6M) evoked large and significant increases in insulin secretion from the pancreas of normal rats. This Leu-Enk-evoked insulin release was significantly (p < 0.05) blocked by atropine, naloxone and yohimbine (all at 10-6 M). In the same way, Leu-Enk at concentrations of 10-12 M and 10-9 M induced significant (p < 0.05) increases in glucagon release from the pancreas of normal rats. Atropine, yohimbine but not naloxone significantly (p < 0.05) inhibited Leu-Enk-evoked glucagon release from normal rat pancreas. In contrast, Leu-Enk failed to significantly stimulate insulin and glucagon secretion from the pancreas of diabetic rats. In conclusion, Leu-Enk stimulates insulin and glucagon secretion from the pancreas of normal rat through the cholinergic, alpha-2 adrenergic and opioid receptor pathways.
- Experimental diabetes mellitus
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)