Atropine enhances food-stimulated cck secretion in the rat

Ikuta Nakano, Tippy Tawil, Alan W. Spannagel, Rodger A. Liddle, Gary M. Green

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


The effect of atropine on plasma cholecystokinin (CCK) and pancreatic secretion during intraintestinal infusion of a conventional defined formula liquid diet (Ensure HN, Ross Laboratories, 1.06 kcal/ml) was studied in conscious rats. Rats were prepared with cannulae draining bile and pancreatic juice, which were returned to the duodenum at all times. Pancreatic secretion was monitored during intraduodenal infusion of 0.15 M NaCl for 2 h followed by Ensure HN, both infused at 4.62 ml/h. Rats were infused i.p. with atropine (500 μg/kg/h) or vehicle throughout the experiment, beginning 1 h before monitoring of basal pancreatic secretion. Basal and 15 min postprandial plasma CCK concentrations were determined by bioassay. Atropine inhibited basal pancreatic protein secretion by ~60%. However, protein secretion during infusion of the diet was not decreased by atropine, due to a larger incremental pancreatic protein secretory response in atropine-treated rats. Plasma CCK 15 min after beginning the diet infusion was significantly increased by atropine (8.09 ± 1.77 pM in atropine-treated rats versus 3.14 ± 0.64 pAf in controls). The results indicate that rats compensate for loss of cholinergic input to the pancreas by increasing CCK release in response to a meal. This is hypothesized to occur by virtue of reduced feedback inhibition of CCK release due to anticholinergic reduction of basal levels of intestinal protease activity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)621-625
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990


  • CCK
  • Cholinergic control
  • Feedback regulation
  • Pancreatic secretion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Hepatology
  • Endocrinology


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