Presence of galanin in human pancreatic nerves and inhibition of insulin secretion from isolated human islets

Cell and Tissue Research
B AhrénB E Dunning


In several animal species, galanin occurs in pancreatic nerves and inhibits insulin secretion. However, the presence and action of galanin in the human pancreas have not been established. Therefore, we examined the presence and nature of human pancreatic galanin-like immunoreactive material (GLIR) and the effects of galanin on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from isolated human islets. Immunofluorescent staining of human pancreas revealed GLIR in fine varicose fibers in both islets and exocrine parenchyma. Furthermore, acid extracts of pancreas (n = 3) and isolated islets (n = 3) contained 0.17 +/- 0.06 and 0.23 +/- 0.11 pmol GLIR/mg protein. Human pancreatic GLIR coeluted with synthetic porcine galanin from Sephadex G-50. Moreover, synthetic porcine galanin inhibited glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from collagenase-isolated human islets at dose rates greater than 10(-8) M. Thus, (1) human pancreas is innervated by galanin-containing nerves, (2) human pancreatic GLIR is of similar size as synthetic porcine galanin, and (3) porcine galanin inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from human islets. Therefore, galanin could be an important local regulator of insulin secretion in man.


Aug 11, 1990·Acta Physiologica Scandinavica·S LindskogB Ahrén
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