Somatostatin receptors and autoimmune-mediated diabetes

Xaio Ping Wang, Michael A. Norman, F. Charles Brunicardi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Somatostatin (SST) peptide is produced by various SST-secreting cells throughout the body and acts as a neurotransmitter or paracrine/autocrine regulator in response to ions, nutrients, peptides hormones and neurotransmitters. SST is also widely distributed in the periphery to regulate the inflammatory and immune cells in response to hormones, growth factors, cytokines and other secretive molecules. SST peptides are considered the most important physiologic regulator of the islet cell, gastrointestinal cell and immune cell functions, and the importance of SST production levels has been implicated in several diseases including diabetes. The expression of SST receptors has also been found in T lymphocytes and primary immunologic organs. Interaction of SST and its receptors is also involved in T-cell proliferation and thymocyte selection. SSTR gene-ablated mice developed diabetes with morphologic, physiologic and immunologic alterations in the endocrine pancreas. Increased levels of mononuclear cell infiltration of the islets are associated with the increased levels of antigen-presenting cells located in the islets and peripancreatic lymph nodes. Increased levels of SST were also found in antigen-presenting cells and are associated with a significant increase of CD8 expression levels on CD4+/CD8+ immature thymocytes. These findings highlight the crucial role of this neuroendocrine peptide and its receptors in regulating autoimmune functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-30
Number of pages16
JournalDiabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune
  • G-protein-coupled receptor
  • Islet hyperplasia
  • Neuropeptide
  • Somatostatin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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