, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 115–119 | Cite as

Ultrastructural morphometry of the pancreatic β-cell

  • P. M. Dean


Standard stereological methods have been used to determine the morphometric parameters of organelles contained in theβ- cella of mouse pancreas. Sectioned material from ten islets was analysed at three levels of magnification in the electron microscope. Quantitative data was obtained about the volume number and surface area of the various cytological components and was expressed as density per cm3 of tissue and as absolute dimensions for the averageβ-cell. The organelles studied were the nucleus, cytoplasmic ground substance, rough and smooth endoplasmic reticulum, the ribosomes, mitochondria,β-granules and microtubules.

Key words

Mouseβ-cell ultrastructure stereology morphometry electron microscopy 


  1. Dean, P.M., Matthews, E.K.: Glucose-induced electrical activity in pancreatic islet cells. J. Physiol.210, 255–264 (1970a).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Dean, P.M., Matthews, E.K.: Electrical activity in pancreatic islet cells: effect of ions. J. Physiol.210, 265–275 (1970b).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. De Hoff, R.T., Rhines, F.N.: Determination of the number of particles per unit volume from measurements made on random plane sections: the general cylinder and the ellipsoid. Trans. Amer. Inst. Mining. Met. Petrol. Engrs.221, 975–982 (1961).Google Scholar
  4. Ekholm, R., Ericson, L.E., Lundquist, I.: Monoamines in the pancreatic islets of the mouse. Subcellular localization of 5 hydroxytryptamine by electron microscopic autoradiography. Diabetologia7, 339–348 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Elias, H.: Stereology. Proc. 2nd Int. Congr. for Stereology. Chicago 1967. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag 1967.Google Scholar
  6. Elias, H., Hennig, A., Schwartz, D.E.: Stereology: applications to biomedical research. Physiol. Rev.51, 158–200 (1971).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Haug, H.: Probleme und Methoden der Strukturzählung im Schnittpräparat. In: Quantitative methods in morphology, p. 58. Weibel, E.R., Elias, H., editors. Berlin-Heidelberg-New York: Springer-Verlag 1967.Google Scholar
  8. Hellman, B.: The total volume of the pancreatic islet tissue at different ages of the rat. Acta path, microbiol. scand.47, 35–50 (1959).Google Scholar
  9. Hellman, B.: Methodological approaches to studies on the pancreatic islets. Diabetologia6, 110–120 (1970).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Weibel, E.R.: Stereological principles for morphometry in electron microscopic cytology. Int. Rev. Cytol.26, 235–302 (1969).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Weibel, E.R., Kistler, G.S., Scherle, W.F.: Practical stereological methods for morphometric cytology. J. Cell. Biol.30, 23–38 (1966).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Weibel, E.R., Staubli, W., Gnägi, H.R., Hess, F.A.: Correlated morphometric and biochemical studies on the liver cell. 1. Morphometric Model, stereological methods, and normal morphometric data for rat liver. J. Cell Biol.42, 68–91 (1969).PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Wicksell, S.D.: The corpuscle problem. A mathematical study of a biometric problem. Biometrika17, 84–99 (1925).Google Scholar
  14. Lacy, P.E., Howell, S.L.: The mechanism of emiocytic insulin release. In: Structure and metabolism of pancreatic islets, p. 171–180. Ed. Falkner, S., Hellman, B., Täljedal, J.B. Oxford: Pergamon Press 1970.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. M. Dean
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PharmacologyUniversity of Cambridge, Medical SchoolCambridgeEngland

Personalised recommendations