Effect of somatostatin and thyrotropin-releasing hormone on cholecystokinin-induced gallbladder emptying

Dig Dis Sci. 1986 Dec;31(12):1345-50. doi: 10.1007/BF01299813.


The effect of somatostatin (0.05 and 1.5 micrograms/kg/hr) and of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (0.1 and 1.0 microgram/kg/hr) on cholecystokinin-induced gallbladder emptying was studied in healthy volunteers by means of real-time ultrasonography. In addition, the action of increasing doses (0.05, 0.15, 0.45, and 1.35 micrograms/kg/hr) of somatostatin on resting gallbladder volume was also evaluated. Somatostatin, at the dose of 0.05 microgram/kg/hr (shown to produce blood levels similar to those measured after a meal) significantly inhibited the gallbladder contraction in response to cholecystokinin. Kinetic analysis showed that the interaction of somatostatin and cholecystokinin is of the noncompetitive type. The higher dose of the peptide (1.5 microgram/kg/hr) completely suppressed cholecystokinin-induced gallbladder contraction. In experiments carried out using somatostatin alone, a progressive increase in gallbladder volume in response to increasing doses of peptide was observed. The administration of either dose of thyrotropin-releasing hormone did not affect gallbladder emptying in any of the subjects studied. It is concluded that somatostatin is a potent inhibitor of cholecystokinin action on the gallbladder. The clear effectiveness of a very low, presumably physiological, dose indicates that somatostatin may play a physiological role in the regulation of gallbladder motor activity and provides further evidence that the peptide may act as a true hormone in man. Thyrotropin-releasing hormone does not seem to affect gallbladder motility, at least under the experimental conditions of the present study.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholecystokinin / administration & dosage
  • Cholecystokinin / antagonists & inhibitors*
  • Gallbladder / drug effects*
  • Gallbladder / physiology
  • Humans
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Biological
  • Somatostatin / administration & dosage
  • Somatostatin / pharmacology*
  • Somatostatin / physiology
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / pharmacology*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Somatostatin
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Cholecystokinin