, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 173-185

Ultrastructural study of pancreatic B cell regeneration in newborn rats after destruction by streptozotocin

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An ultrastructural study of endocrine cells was performed in the pancreas of rats treated with a single dose of streptozotocin on the day of birth. Most of the B cells present at birth were destroyed by streptozotocin but some survived and could again synthesize insulin after eliminating their altered fragments in phago-lysosome structures. New B cells were produced primarily by the formation of new islets from the small pancreatic ducts. A study of mitosis in colchicine treated animals showed that most B cells present on day 4 were formed by mitosis of undifferentiated cells. No significant division of preexisting differentiated B cells could be shown in streptozotocin treated rats.

B cell regeneration in this newborn rat model is thus explained primarily by budding of new islets from the ducts.

M.C.D. is Assistant and C.R. is Maître Assistant at the P and M Curie University. This work was supported in part by ATP Inserm 79–106