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Fine structural studies of the islets of Langerhans in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus)

Summary

A study of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus) was initiated by the observation that 98 percent of the animals of a recently established colony showed ketoacidosis soon after birth, about ten percent of which later developed persistent hyperglycemia. The islets are made up of a centrally located mass of insulin-producing B-cells surrounded by a peripheral rim of A-and D-cells. Most islets are richly supplied by unmyelinated nerve fibers which terminate on all three cell types with cholinergic synaptic endings. Early changes in islet fine structure due to ketosis comprise degranulation of A-cells combined with signs of crinophagia of α-granules. After the manifestation of hyperglycemia, degranulation of B-cells is followed by deposition of glycogen which in the late phase of the diabetic syndrome forms large masses obscuring the regular cellular organelles. In six-to nine-month hyperglycemic animals degenerative changes are also observed in D-cells in the form of autophagic vacuoles.

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Dedicated to Professor Dr. Helmut Ferner, Vienna on the occasion of his 65th birthday

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Voss, K.M., Herberg, L. & Kern, H.F. Fine structural studies of the islets of Langerhans in the Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus). Cell Tissue Res. 191, 333–342 (1978). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222428

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00222428

Key words

  • Pancreatic islets
  • Ketoacidosis
  • Spontaneous diabetes
  • Djungarian hamster (Phodopus sungorus)