The role of glucagon as a blood-borne mediator of the intestinal hyperemia associated with experimental diabetes mellitus was assessed in anesthetized fasted (18-24 h) rats 4 wk after the administration of streptozotocin (65 mg/kg body wt) or its vehicle. Selective removal of pancreatic glucagon from the circulation was accomplished by the intravenous administration of a highly specific glucagon antiserum. Blood flow to the gastrointestinal tract and kidneys was measured with radioactive microspheres using the reference sample technique. Blood flows were increased by at least 60% in each segment of the gastrointestinal tract of diabetic animals compared with control rats. Glucagon antiserum had no effect on blood flows in the gastrointestinal tract of control animals. However, the antiserum produced a significant reduction in blood flow to the stomach (26%), duodenum (25%), jejunum (12%), and kidneys (16%) in diabetic rats. There was no change in blood flow to the ileum or colon of diabetic animals with antiserum administration. The results of this study support the hypothesis that glucagon mediates a portion of the hyperemia noted in the stomach, duodenum, and jejunum. However, glucagon does not appear to play a role in the genesis of the hyperemia noted in more distal segments of the gastrointestinal tract (ileum and colon). A possible role for glucagon in the maintenance of renal blood flow in diabetic rats is suggested.
- Copyright © 1988 the American Physiological Society