Islet neogenesis is stimulated by brief occlusion of the main pancreatic duct

  • Colin W Woodroof
  • Charon de Villiers
  • Benedict J Page
  • Lize van der Merwe
  • William F Ferris


Objective. Current models of islet neogenesis either cause substantial pancreatic damage or continuously stimulate the pancreas, making these models unsuitable for the study of early events that occur in the neogenic process. We aimed to develop a method where the initial events that culminate in increased pancreatic endocrine mass caube studied. 
Design and methods. Ten 12-week-old female Wistar rats were subjected to a midline laparotomy, the pancreas was isolated and the main pancreatic duct was occluded for 60 seconds. The pancreas was released and carefully relocated within the abdomen. Ten age-, strain- and sex-matched control rats were subjected to a sham operation. The animals were killed 56 days post .occlusion, and the pancreata excised and fiXed tor histological analysis. Body, pancreatic and hepatic weights were .noted at termination. and serum was taken for analysis. The endocrine-to-exocrine. ratio was calculated and the number of endocrine cells in eacn islet from the sectioned pancreata was counted. 
Results. Occlusion of the main pancreatic ductfor 60 seconds results in an increase in endocrine mass. by 80% 56 days post occlusion. This constitutes an increase in endocrine units (1 - 6 cellst and in small (7 - 30 cells), medium (31 - 60 cells) and large (> 60 cells) islets by 85%, 96%, 95% and 71% respectively. 
Conclusion. Brief occlusion of the main pancreatic duct results in anincrease in pancreatic endocrine. mass. An increase in endocrine units and small islets is indicative of islet neogenesis. Therefore, owing to the briefness of the stimulation; this model can therefore be used to study the iniUal events that occur during the neogenic process.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0256-95749
print ISSN: 2078-5135