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It is known that the pancreatic islets are innervated by the autonomic nerves. The net effects of activation of the nerves on islet hormone secretion, the presumed neurotransmitters mediating these effects, and the putative receptors and their signaling pathways have also been established. In particular, several neuropep-tides have been localized to islet nerve terminals, and their actions on islet hormone secretion have been documented under a variety of experimental conditions. Studies are now required to establish the physiology and pathophysiology of the islet nerves and their neurotransmitters, particularly concerning the possible involvement of the nerves in the patho-physiology of glucose intolerance, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

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Suggested Reading

Ahren, B. (2000). Autonomic regulation of islet hormone secretion.

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Colmers, W. F., and Wahlestedt, C. (1993). The Biology of Neuropeptide Y and Related Peptides. Humana Press, Totowa, NJ.

Filipsson, K., Kvist-Reimer, M. and Ahren, B. (2001). The neuropeptide pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating poly-peptide and islet function. Diabetes 50, 1959-1969.

Karlsson, S., and Ahren, B. (1992). Cholecystokinin and the regulation of insulin secretion. Scand. J. Gastroenterol. 27, 161-165.

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Sundler, F., and Böttcher, G. (1991). Islet innervation, with special reference to neuropeptides. In: The Endocrine Pancreas (E. Samols, Ed.), pp. 29-52. Raven Press, New York.

Woods, S. C., and Porte, D., Jr. (1974). Neural control of the endocrine pancreas. Physiol. Rev. 54, 596-619.

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