Original communication| Volume 79, ISSUE 2, P138-143, February 1976

Autotransplantation of porcine islets of Langerhans

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      Autotransplantation of the islets of Langerhans in pancreatic tissue fragments, prepared with no attempt to separate exocrine tissue, produced viable, well vascularized implants in the peritoneal cavity of pigs. We autografted 31 pancreatectomized pigs with pancreatic preparations in which exocrine tissue either was separated completely, partially, or not at all. Nine pancreatectomized pigs were used as control animals. On the basis of the results of the standard serum glucose and insulin level tests and the mean survival results, the various methods of tissue preparation had no discernible effect. One month after grafting, the implants from the unseparated pancreatic preparations contained significant amounts of insulin and cells identical to normal beta cells. One pig with a free-fragment autograft is alive and well, with an increase in the size of its implants, 6 months later. Separation of pancreatic endocrine and exocrine tissue is not essential for autografting the islets of Langerhans in the pig. The exocrine tissue apparently can be removed by in vivo mechanisms, and the endocrine tissue is preserved in free-fragment pancreatic grafts.
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