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Pathol Int. 2003 Sep;53(9):591-5.

Amylin in pancreatic islets and pancreatic endocrine neoplasms.

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Department of Pathology, Texas Tech Medical Center at El Paso, Texas 79905, USA.


Amylin is a chief constituent of the amyloid present in insulinomas, and is colocalized in beta islet cells. By immunocytochemical staining, all four islet cells including insulin, glucagon, somatostatin (SRIF) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) cells were positively stained for amylin. The strongly insulin-positive cells corresponded with the strongly amylin-positive cells, and glucagon cells appeared to be strongly positive for amylin, whereas SRIF and PP cells were weakly positive for amylin. Among 37 cases of pancreatic endocrine neoplasms, insulinomas were more stronger stained for amylin than other islet cell tumors; however, amylin staining was the same or weaker than insulin staining. Glucagonomas and PP-omas were weakly positive for amylin, whereas six of 11 gastrinomas were weakly positive for amylin. It is concluded that three orthoendocrine tumors including insulinomas, glucagonomas and PP-omas were all positive for amylin, whereas ectopic hormone secreting gastrinomas were positive for amylin in six of 11 cases (55%). This colocalization of amylin with insulin, glucagon and PP may support a structure-function relationship of amylin and pancreatic hormones. The lesser immunoreactive amylin in pancreatic endocrine neoplasms than in normal islet cells may contribute to autonomous hypersecretion of hormones by pancreatic endocrine neoplasms.

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