Plasma somatostatin is elevated in primary hypothyroidism compared with hyperthyroidism.Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1986 Mar; 111(3):331-5.AE
Increased pancreatic somatostatin (somatotrophin release inhibiting factor (SRIF) has been found in hypothyroid rats. Therefore, we wanted to investigate plasma SRIF in patients with hypo- and hyperthyroidism. Two groups of patients, 7 cases with autoimmune hypothyroidism, 31-75 years old, and 7 cases with Graves' disease, 19-43 years old, were compared with regard to plasma SRIF before, during and after an arginine infusion (0.5 g/kg/20 min). None of the patients suffered from diabetes mellitus or obesity. Plasma SRIF was higher in the hypothyroid patients (mean basal value 21.5 +/- 3.9, peak value 28.7 +/- 5.1 pmol/l) compared with the hyperthyroid group (mean basal value 11.6 +/- 3.3, peak value 16.2 +/- 4.0 pmol/l). The hypothyroid group also had significantly higher serum insulin values during arginine stimulation. No difference was found in plasma glucagon, serum growth hormone (GH) or blood glucose. In conclusion, plasma SRIF is elevated in primary hypothyroidism compared with hyperthyroidism. The reason for this finding is uncertain, but a reduced SRIF clearance is a possible explanation. The association of our findings with the reduced glucose tolerance in hyperthyroidism is discussed.