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April 17, 1972

The Cephalic Phase of Exocrine and Endocrine Pancreatic Secretion

JAMA. 1972;220(3):409. doi:10.1001/jama.1972.03200030067020

When at the turn of the century Pavlov first reported his sham feeding experiments in dogs with esophageal fistulas and modified Heidenhein stomach pouches, he added to his concept of conditioned reflexes the demonstration of a cephalic secretory phase of salivary and gastric glands at the sight, smell, or taste of appetizing food. Pancreatic secretion was also stimulated, but to such a negligible extent that the pancreas was excluded for a long time from the cephalic phase club.

It would now appear that this exclusion is not justified. Preshaw and associates1 have shown recently that, though sham feeding in dogs with gastric and pancreatic fistulas increased only slightly the rate of pancreatic secretion and its bicarbonate content, a large and sustained protein output by the gland was provoked. Because acidification of an innervated pyloric pouch inhibited the pancreatic response, these investigators suggest that the latter is mediated—at least in