Vagal control of fasting somatostatin levels

Neurogastroenterol Motil. 1995 Jun;7(2):73-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2982.1995.tb00211.x.


The relationship between fasting intestinal motility, plasma concentration of somatostatin and vagal integrity was examined in four conscious dogs. Small intestinal motility was recorded using subserosally implanted bipolar electrodes. The cervical vagosympathetic trunks, previously isolated in skin loops, were blocked by cooling. In the fasted state, peaks in somatostatin concentration were observed during phase III of the migrating myoelectric complex (MMC). During vagal blockade, small intestinal MMCs persisted but with phase II being absent or decreased in duration in the duodenum and upper jejunum. Somatostatin levels significantly decreased to below the basal levels observed prior to blockade. No cycling of somatostatin levels was evident during the period of vagal blockade. Upon termination of vagal cooling, normal motility returned and somatostatin levels returned to their pre-blockade levels.

In conclusion: (1) plasma somatostatin levels cycle with phase III of the MMC in the upper small intestine; (2) the cycling of fasting somatostatin concentrations is primarily dependent upon intact vagal pathways; and (3) basal plasma somatostatin levels are in part vagally dependent.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / physiology
  • Animals
  • Autonomic Nerve Block
  • Dogs
  • Electrophysiology
  • Fasting / physiology*
  • Female
  • Intestine, Small / innervation
  • Intestine, Small / physiology
  • Male
  • Myoelectric Complex, Migrating / physiology
  • Somatostatin / metabolism*
  • Vagus Nerve / physiology*


  • Somatostatin