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Symbol(s): SST
Locus: 3 q28
EC number [1]
EntrezGene 6750
OMIM 182450
RefSeq NM_001048
UniProt P61278

Somatostatin (also known as growth hormone inhibiting hormone (GHIH) or somatotropin release-inhibiting hormone (SRIF)) is a peptide hormone that regulates the endocrine system and affects neurotransmission and cell proliferation via interaction with G-protein-coupled somatostatin receptors and inhibition of the release of numerous secondary hormones.

Somatostatin has two active forms produced by alternative cleavage of a single preproprotein: one of 14 amino acids, the other of 28 amino acids.[1]


Digestive system

Somatostatin is secreted in several locations in the digestive system:


Somatostatin is produced by neuroendocrine neurons of the periventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. These neurons project to the median eminence, where somatostatin is released from neurosecretory nerve endings into the hypothalamo-hypophysial portal circulation. These blood vessels carry somatostatin to the anterior pituitary gland, where somatostatin inhibits the secretion of growth hormone from somatotrope cells. The somatostatin neurons in the periventricular nucleus mediate negative feedback effects of growth hormone on its own release; the somatostatin neurons respond to high circulating concentrations of growth hormone and somatomedins by increasing the release of somatostatin, so reducing the rate of secretion of growth hormone.

Somatostatin is also produced by several other populations that project centrally - i.e. to other areas of the brain, and somatostatin receptors are expressed at many different sites in the brain. In particular, there are populations of somatostatin neurons in the arcuate nucleus, the hippocampus and the brainstem nucleus of the solitary tract.


D cell is visible at upper right, and somatostatinis represented by middle arrow pointing left

Somatostatin is classified as an inhibitory hormone,[1] whose main actions are to:

Synthetic substitutes

Octreotide (brand name Sandostatin, Novartis Pharmaceuticals) is an octopeptide that mimics natural somatostatin pharmacologically, though is a more potent inhibitor of growth hormone, glucagon, and insulin than the natural hormone.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Physiology at MCG 5/5ch4/s5ch4_16
  2. Costanzo, LS. Board Review Series: Physiology 3rd Ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. 2003. p. 280.
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. 4.0 4.1 Physiology at MCG 5/5ch4/s5ch4_17
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Target-derived NGF, BDNF, NT-3


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