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German: Somatostatin

1 Definition

Somatostatin is a peptide hormone that plays a central role in numerous endocrine information processing structures.

2 Biochemistry

Somatostatin consists of two chains with 14 and 28 amino acids, respectively.

3 Physiology

The name for somatostatin is derived from its effect as antagonist of human growth hormone (somatotropin). Additionally, it plays a significant role in neuroendocrinology and the homeostasis of gastrointestinal hormones and neuropeptides.

Somatostatin is a kind of "universal brake". It inhibits the secretion of the following hormones:

In addition, somatostatin inhibits gastric acid secretion, the exocrine secretion of pancreatic enzymes and the motility of the stomach and small intestine. The fact that somatostatin decreases the blood pressure in the splanchnic area finds therapeutic application, e. g. in the management of oesophageal variceal haemorrhage.

Secretion of somatostatin is controlled by histamin and nervous impuleses.

4 Synthetic somatostatin analogues

A synthetic somatostatin analogue, octreotide, has a very long plasma half life. It is used in the management of portal hypertension, acromegaly and carzinoids.

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