This study examined the pattern of distribution of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), neuropeptide-Y (NPY) and substance P (SP) in the pancreas of diabetic rat to determine whether there are changes in the number and pattern of distribution of these neuropeptides after the onset of diabetes. Moreover, the effect of VIP, NPY and SP on insulin secretion from the pancreas of normal and diabetic rats was also examined. Diabetes mellitus (DM) was induced by a single dose of streptozotocin (STZ) given intraperitoneally (i.p.) (60 mg kg body weight-1). Four weeks after the induction of DM, diabetic (n = 6) and normal (n = 6) rats were anesthetized with chloral hydrate and their pancreases removed and processed for immunohistochemistry and insulin secretion. The number of insulin-positive cells in the islets of Langerhans was reduced while that of VIP and NPY increased significantly after the onset of diabetes. The pattern of distribution of VIP, NPY and SP in the nerves innervating the pancreas was similar in both normal and diabetic rats. VIP-evoked large and significant (P < 0.02) increases in insulin secretion from the pancreas of normal and diabetic rats. NPY also induced a marked (P < 0.005) increase in insulin release from pancreatic tissue fragments of normal rat. Stimulation of pancreatic tissue fragments of diabetic rat with NPY resulted in a slight but not significant increase in insulin release. SP induced a large and significant (P < 0.005) increase in insulin secretion from the pancreas of normal rat but inhibited insulin secretion significantly (P < 0.03) from isolated pancreas of diabetic rat. In summary, VIP and NPY can stimulate insulin secretion from the pancreas after the onset of diabetes. The stimulatory effect of SP on insulin secretion is reversed to inhibitory in diabetic rats.
- Diabetes mellitus
- Insulin secretion
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience