Brunner's gland secretion in response to infusion of secretin and glucagon was studied in the rat. Secretin was infused in doses of 15, 150 and 1500 ng/kg/h. All dose significantly increased bicarbonate and protein output and depleted Brunner's glands of PAS-positive mucin. Bicarbonate secretion was related to plasma secretin concentration, and a marked stimulatory effect of secretin was found in very low, probably physiological, plasma concentrations. Maximal bicarbonate output was obtained at a plasma concentration of secretin about 20 pmol/l. Glucagon was infused at a rate of 1.0 micrograms/kg/h and did not influence secretion rate or cell morphology. Also large doses of 5.0 and 50.0 micrograms/kg/h had no effect on Brunner's gland secretion. It is concluded that secretin in very low plasma concentrations stimulates secretion of bicarbonate, protein and mucus from Brunner's glands in the rat, while glucagon has no effect, and it is suggested that secretin may be involved in the physiological regulation of Brunner's gland secretion.
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