Effect of somatostatin on human gallbladder motility: An in vitro study

Maria Antonietta Maselli, A. L. Piepoli, F. Pezzolla, M. L. Caruso, D. Lorusso

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo studies have demonstrated that somatostatin induces human gallbladder relaxation. To determine whether this polypeptide acts directly on the gallbladder muscle, its effect on strips of human gallbladder was studied in vitro. Strips of gallbladder were set up isometrically in an organ bath containing oxygenated Krebs' solution. Dose-response curves to cholecystokinin-octapeptide and carbachol were first established. The ability of somatostatin to cause relaxation under basal conditions and during 50% maximal stimulation by cholecystokinin-octapeptide (7.2 x 10-8 M) and carbachol (3.5 x 10-6 M) was assessed in 32 strips at 4.3 x 10-6 M concentration which mimics the plasma concentrations found in patients with somatostatinoma and in 12 additional strips at 4.3 x 10-8 M concentration. Somatostatin action on the intrinsic innervation by using electrical field stimulation (EFS) (200 mA 5 msec in duration, 30 Hz; 400 mA, 1 msec in duration, 10 Hz) was also evaluated in 39 strips. Somatostatin had no effect on the basal or carbachol-generated tensions. On the contrary, somatostatin (4.3 x 10-6 M) reduced cholecystokinin-octapeptide-generated tensions by 8% (P <0.001) and reduced EFS-generated tensions at 30 Hz by 7.7% (P <0.01) and those at 10 Hz by 41.2% (P <0.01). All responses to cholecystokinin-octapeptide and carbachol were abolished by dibutyryl-guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (5 x 10-3 M) and atropine (10-5 M), respectively (P <0.0002 and P <0.0002). All responses to electrical field stimulation were reduced or abolished by tetrodotoxin (2 x 10-6 M) (P <0.001 and P <0.0001, respectively). Our findings show that somatostatin exerts its inhibitory action on the response to cholecystokinin-octapeptide and on the intrinsic innervation of the gallbladder smooth muscle. The probable neurotransmitter is the acetylcholine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalNeurogastroenterology and Motility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


  • Carbachol
  • Cholecystokinin-octapeptide
  • Gallbladder motility in vitro
  • Somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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