, Volume 53, Issue 1, pp 111-114,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 22 Oct 2009

Relationship between fractional pancreatic beta cell area and fasting plasma glucose concentration in monkeys

Abstract

Aims/hypothesis

We sought to establish the relationship between fasting plasma glucose concentrations and pancreatic fractional beta cell area in adult cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis).

Methods

Fasting plasma glucose and pancreatic fractional beta cell area were measured in 18 control and 17 streptozotocin-treated adult primates (17.0 ± 1.2 vs 15.4 ± 1.2 years old).

Results

Fasting plasma glucose was increased (12.0 ± 2.0 vs 3.4 ± 0.1 mmol/l, p < 0.01) and fractional beta cell area was decreased (0.62 ± 0.13% vs 2.49 ± 0.35%, p < 0.01) in streptozotocin-treated monkeys. The relationship between fasting plasma glucose and pancreatic fractional beta cell area was described by a wide range of beta cell areas in controls. In streptozotocin-treated monkeys there was an inflection of fasting blood glucose at ∼50% of the mean beta cell area in controls with a steep increase in blood glucose for each further decrement in beta cell area.

Conclusions/interpretation

In adult non-human primates a decrement in fractional beta cell area of ∼50% or more leads to loss of glycaemic control.