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Somatostatin in the human heart and comparison with guinea pig and rat heart.
  1. S M Day,
  2. J Gu,
  3. J M Polak,
  4. S R Bloom


    Somatostatin has been shown to have negative inotropic and chronotopic effects and to restore sinus rhythm in some cases of cardiac arrhythmia. Using acid extracts, regions of human heart were examined by radioimmunoassay to determine their somatostatin content. Mean (SD) concentrations of 4.1 (0.8) pmol/g and 2.9 (0.8) pmol/g were found in atrioventricular node and right atria respectively and were significantly higher than in other heart regions. Using fresh heart tissue from guinea pigs, somatostatin was localised to cardiac nerves by immunocytochemistry. Nerves containing somatostatin were most abundant in the atria, where the concentrations measured by radioimmunoassay were 7.6 (1.0) and 2.6 (0.4) pmol/g for right and left atria respectively. Somatostatin contained in cardiac nerves may have a physiological role in the cardiac conduction system.

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