Interaction of caerulein and secretin on pancreatic size and composition in rat

Am J Physiol. 1978 Dec;235(6):E714-9. doi: 10.1152/ajpendo.1978.235.6.E714.


Rats were given injections of caerulein, secretin, or a combination of these two peptides subcutaneously 3 times daily for 5, 10, or 15 days. Caerulein produced significant dose- and time-dependent increases in pancreatic weight and content of DNA, RNA, protein, amylase, and trypsinogen. Secretin produced significant increases in pancreatic weight and content of RNA and lipase after 15 days of treatment. After only 5 days of treatment with a combination of secretin plus caerulein, pancreatic weight and content of RNA and protein more than doubled, and trypsinogen content increased more than fivefold. Comparing the averages across the 5-, 10-, and 15-day values, increases in weight, protein, and trypsinogen with the combination of secretin plus caerulein were significantly greater than the sum of the effects of the peptides given singly. Using increase in DNA content as an index of hyperplasia and increases in the ratios of pancreatic weight, RNA content, and protein content to DNA content as indices of hypertrophy, we concluded that caerulein produced both hyperplasia and hypertrophy of rat pancreatic acinar cells. Secretin markedly augmented the hypertrophic action of caerulein but did not alter its hyperplastic action.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amylases / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Ceruletide / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Drug Therapy, Combination
  • Hyperplasia
  • Hypertrophy
  • Lipase / metabolism
  • Male
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Pancreas / pathology
  • Pancreas / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Secretin / pharmacology*
  • Trypsinogen / metabolism


  • Secretin
  • Ceruletide
  • Trypsinogen
  • Lipase
  • Amylases