We studied the time structure of pancreatic secretion in two experiments involving seven 6- to 7-wk-old intact male pigs, surgically fitted with a jugular vein catheter for blood sampling, pancreatic catheter, and a duodenal T-cannula for chronic pancreatic juice sampling for 72 h at 30- to 60-min intervals. Pigs were kept in metabolic cages in a regimen of 12 h of light alternating with 12 h of darkness and were fed at 0800, 1500, and 2200 daily a standard diet based on barley, soybean meal, and fish meal. Beginning 4 d after surgical recovery three 24-h collections of pancreatic juice and blood sampling were begun either at 0700 or 0800 every 2nd d for 5 d. Pancreatic secretion exhibited a pattern characterized by distinct meal-related secretions of the first phase (postprandial), containing large amounts of protein and enzymes (trypsin and chymotrypsm), and by non-food-stimulated secretions of the second phase with less protein and enzymes. During the dark span, the first phase was practically absent; the response of the pancreatic secretion to the 2200 meal was not very pronounced. Apart from the anticipated circadian rhythm demonstrable by single cosinor analysis on a group basis, a prominent 8-h component was almost invariably statistically significant. Moreover, an approximately 3.43-h component was also prominent. These data indicate that pancreatic secretions are circadian periodic and that their response to a standard meal is also circadian-stage dependent. The circadian components may have been free-running because the pigs were adjusting themselves to the changing phase and that resulted in the period being different from exactly 24 h.
- Circadian Rhythm