Segments of freshly dissected rat hypothalamic tissue corresponding to the ventrolateral(VLH) and ventromedial(VMH) regions were incubated in Gey and Gey medium at 37 C under 95% O2 and 5% CO2 for 30 minutes. Groups of male rats which had been fasted for 6 hours received injections (i.v.) of either VMH medium or VLH medium while a third group received control medium only. Blood samples were taken from the aorta 3 minutes post-injection and circulating levels of insulin and glucagon were determined by RIA. The medium from the incubation of the VMH tissue significantly elevated glucagon levels and significantly lowered plasma concentrations of insulin compared to the levels in animals receiving injections of control medium. The hormone levels in animals receiving an injection of medium in which VLH tissue had been incubated did not differ significantly from the controls. In another type of experiment VMH medium, but not VLH medium, was able to overcome the somatostatin-induced inhibition of glucagon release. These observations suggest that hypothalamic factors may be involved in the regulation of the endocrine pancreas.
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