Immunohystochemical study of the largest islets of human pancreas in aging and diabetes mellitus: perspectives for the transplantation

Cover Page


 To study the distribution and cellular architecture of the largest human pancreatic islets (with a diameter of more than 200 micron) in aging and diabetes mellitus types 1 and 2.
Materials and methods.
 Antibodies to insulin, glucagon, somastatin and nturon-specific enolase were applied. The autopsy samples of the pancreatic tissue of patients with diabetes mellitus type 1 (DMT1) and type 2 (DMT2) and 2 age groups (up to 50 years old (control) and after 50 (aging control)), not suffering from diseases of the pancreas and carbohydrate metabolism malfunction were investigated.
 The number of islets with diameter more than 200 mkm compared to control group increased both in aging and diabetes groups. Their number reaches in some cases 15% (and higher in DM) of the total number of islets. These islets compared to the other are rich-vascularized. It was shown that glucagon and somatostatin-containing cells are found both on the periphery of the large islets, and inside them only in the immediate proximity of the capillaries. Insulin-containing cells form clusters, surrounded by the capillaries and the ?- and ?-cells, while the inner part of such clusters has no direct contact with the capillaries. In the large islets the number of glucagon-containing cells is often increased, and insulin-containing cells show signs of degradation.
 The largest of the pancreatic islets may be useless for the transplantation, because of the high content of glucagon-containing cells, the rich vascularization and, in some cases, the limited functionality of ?-cells.

About the authors

Alexandra Evgen'evna Proshchina

Research Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences

Author for correspondence.

Russian Federation PhD, Associate Professor, Senior Researcher

Yulia Sergeevna Krivova

Research Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences


Russian Federation PhD, Assistant Researcher

Valeriy Mikhaylovich Barabanov

Research Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences


Russian Federation PhD, Leading Researcher

Sergey Vyacheslavovich Savelyev

Research Institute of Human Morphology of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences


Russian Federation PhD, Professor, Head of the Nervous system development laboratory


  1. Jahansouz C, Jahansouz C, Kumer SC, Brayman KL. Evolution of β-Cell Replacement Therapy in Diabetes Mellitus: Islet Cell Transplantation. Journal of Transplantation. 2011;2011:247959.
  2. doi: 10.1155/2011/247959
  3. Wang P, Medarova ZA. Moore Molecular Imaging: A Promising Tool to Monitor Islet Transplantation. Journal of Transplantation. 2011;2011:202915.
  4. doi: 10.1155/2011/202915
  5. Дедов ИИ, Балаболкин МИ, Клебанова ЕМ. Современные аспекты трансплантации островков поджелудочной железы при сахарном диабете. Сахарный диабет. 2004;(2):34–41. [Dedov I, Balabolkin M, Klebanova E. Sovremennye aspekty transplantatsii ostrovkov podzheludochnoy zhelezy pri sakharnom diabete. Diabetes mellitus. 2004;(2):34–41. doi: 10.14341/2072-0351-5607 ]
  6. Cabrera O, Berman DM, Kenyon NS, Ricordi C, Berggren PO, Caicedo A. The unique cytoarchitecture of human pancreatic islets has implications for islet cell function. PNAS. 2006;103(7):2334–2339.
  7. Brissova M, Flower MJ, Nicholson WE, Chu A, Hirshberg B, Harlan DM, Powers AC. Assessment of human pancreatic islet architecture and composition by laser scanning confocal microscopy. J. Histochem. Cytochem. 2005;53(9):1087–1097.
  8. Bosco D, Armanet M, Morel Ph, Niclauss N, Sgroi A, Muller YD, Giovannoni L, Parnaud G, Berney T. Unique Arrangement of α- and β-Cells in Human Islets of Langerhans. Diabetes. 2010;59:1202–1210.
  9. Pisania A, Weir GC, O'Neil JJ, Omer A, Tchipashvili V, Lei J, Colton CK, Bonner-Weir S. Quantitative analysis of cell composition and purity of human pancreatic islet preparations. Lab Invest. 2010;90(11):1661–1675.
  10. doi: 10.1038/labinvest.2010.124
  11. Reers Chr, Erbel S, Esposito I, Schmied B, Büchler MW, Nawroth PP, Ritzel RA. Impaired islet turnover in human donor pancreata with aging. European Journal of Endocrinology. 2009;160:185–191.
  12. doi: 10.1530/EJE-08-0596
  13. Assmann A, Hinault Ch, Kulkarni RN. Growth factor control of pancreatic islet regeneration and function. Pediatr. Diabetes. 2009 Feb;10(1):14–32.
  14. Gromada J, Franklin I, Wollheim CB. α-Cells of the Endocrine Pancreas: 35 Years of Research but the Enigma Remains. Endocrine Reviews. 2007 Feb;28(1):84–116
  15. Савельев СВ, Андреева ЕВ, Скалецкий НН, Скалецкая ГН, Барабанов ВМ, Фокин ЕИ. Иммуногистохимическое исследование регенерации островков поджелудочной железы человека при сахарном диабете. Вестник трансплантологии и искусственных органов. 2007;9(1):49–53. [Savelyev SV, Andreeva EV, Scalezky NN, Scalezkay GN, Barabanov VM, Fokyn EI. Immuhistochemical study of regeneration of human pancreatic islets at the diabetes mellitus. Vestnik transplantologii i iskusstvennykh organov. 2007;9(1):49–53].
  16. Bouwens L, Pipeleers DG. Extra-insular beta cells associated with ductules are frequent in adult human pancreas. Diabetologia. 1998;4: 629–633.
  17. Carlotti F, Zaldumbide A, Ellenbroek JH, Spijker HS, Hoeben RC, de Koning EJ. β-Cell Generation: Can Rodent Studies Be Translated to Humans? Journal of Transplantation. 2011;2011:892453.
  18. doi: 10.1155/2011/892453
  19. Прощина АЕ, Барабанов ВМ, Кривова ЮС, Савельев СВ. Структурные и иммуногистохимические изменения поджелудочной железы человека, возникающие при старении и в результате сахарного диабета. Морфологические ведомости. 2011;(2):56–62. [Proshchina AE, Barabanov VM, Krivova YuS, Savelyev SV. Structure and immunohystochemical changes of human pancreas in aging and diabetes mellitus. Morphological newsletter. 2011;(2):56–62].
  20. Scheen A. J. Diabetes mellitus in the elderly: insulin resistance and/or impaired insulin secretion. Diabetes & Metabolism. 2005;31(2): 27–34
  21. Back SH, Kang SW, Han J, Chung HT. Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress in the β-Cell Pathogenesis of Type 2 Diabetes. Experimental Diabetes Research. 2012;2012:618396.
  22. doi: 10.1155/2012/618396
  23. Кронрод БА. К вопросу об изменениях поджелудочной железы у лиц пожилого возраста. Труды. 1962;(2):79–99. [Kronrod BA. K voprosu ob izmeneniyakh podzheludochnoy zhelezy u lits pozhilogo vozrasta. Trudy. 1962;(2):79–99].
  24. Von Dorsche HH, Fält K, Hahn HJ, Reiher H. Neuron-specific enolase (NSE) as a neuroendocrine cell marker in the human fetal pancreas. Acta Histochem. 1989; 85(2):227–228.
  25. Proshchina AE, Savelyev SV, Barabanov VM, Krivova YS. Immunoreactivity of neuron-specific enolase (NSE) in human pancreas in health and type 1 diabetes mellitus. Bull. Exp. Biol. Med. 2010;149(6):763–767.



Abstract - 2226

PDF (Russian) - 581

HTML (Russian) - 910




Copyright (c) 2013 Proshchina A.E., Krivova Y.S., Barabanov V.M., Savelyev S.V.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies