Immunoreactive oxytocin and vasopressin were found in human and rat pancreatic extracts. The pancreatic oxytocin and vasopressin eluted on Sephadex G-75 gel filtration chromatography and on reverse phase high pressure liquid chromatography in the same positions as their respective reference preparations. The immunoreactive oxytocin was biologically active in the rat milk ejection assay. The presence of oxytocin and vasopressin in human and rat pancreatic extracts suggests the possibility of local synthesis of both hormones. The neurohypophysial hormones are known to be endocrine mediators of insulin and glucagon release. The finding of oxytocin and vasopressin in the pancreas raises the possibility, although yet unproven, of local synthesis and perhaps a paracrine function for the neurohypophysial peptides upon pancreatic hormone release or for a local function upon the liver.
(C) Copyright 1988 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation