We have characterized the effects of aging on the pancreatic exocrine secretory response to the normal stimulatory hormones, secretin, and cholecystokinin. Young (6 month old) and aged (26 months old) male Sprague-Dawley rats were prepared with pancreatic fistulas and challenged with different doses of secretin (0.03, 0.06, and 0.12 nmol/kg) and cholecystokinin-8 (0.3, 0.6, and 1.2 nmol/kg) intravenously. The pancreatic secretion was measured for volume and bicarbonate and protein outputs. Our results show that in aged rats, the basal pancreatic secretion volume and protein and bicarbonate outputs were significantly reduced, and the pancreatic secretion volume and protein and bicarbonate responses to graded doses of secretin or cholecystokinin-8 were significantly reduced. This study demonstrates that pancreatic exocrine function in rats diminishes with age.
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