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Histomorphological and quantitative immunohistochemical changes in the rat pancreas during aging


Cátedra de Histología-Embriología “B”, Facultad Ciencias Médicas, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina.
Address correspondence to: Lic. Fernando L. Riccillo. Cátedra de Histología-Embriología «B», Facultad de Ciencias Médicas, UNLP, CC 455, (1900) La Plata, ARGENTINA. Phone: (+54-221) 425 6735; Fax: (+54-221) 425 8989; E-mail:

BIOCELL 2004, 28(2), 127-134.


Although the endocrine pancreas is the purpose of several deep investigations, morphological data referred to the effect of aging on the gland are not homogeneous. The purpose of the current work was to analyze the changes occurring in the pancreas of aged rats, with especial reference to the islet cell populations. Six young (Y), old (O) and senescent (S) male Sprague-Dawley rats were used. The pancreas tails were processed for light microscopy and studied by means of routine stains as well as by immunohistochemical identification of insulin-, glucagon-, somatostatin-, and pancreatic polypeptide- secreting cells (Dako Envision System, DAB as chromogen). A progressive pancreatic histoarchitecture distortion was found among the aged animals. Even when the alterations were not uniformly observed, they appeared more evident and severe in the S group. The S rats showed significantly increased volume density and cell density of the B cell population, as well as larger number of islet profiles, when compared to O rats. A significant progressive increment of adipose tissue was also evident in aged animals. No abnormal changes were detected in the nonB cell populations of the different groups.
The quantitative changes found in aged animals suggest a possible compensatory reaction of the B cell population in an attempt to curb the influence of diabetogenic factors mounting with advanced age.


Cite This Article

RICCILLO,, F. (2004). Histomorphological and quantitative immunohistochemical changes in the rat pancreas during aging. BIOCELL, 28(2), 127–134.


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