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Cell Biol Int. 1996 Feb;20(2):95-101.

The non-human primate endocrine pancreas: development, regeneration potential and metaplasia.

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Experimental Biology Programme, MRC, Cape, South Africa.


An investigation into the development of the Vervet monkey endocrine pancreas revealed a sequence of occurrence of pancreatic peptides that differed from previous reports in mice, dog and human with PP and somatostatin occurring before glucagon and insulin. All four pancreatic peptides were identified, immunohistochemically, in only one of the pancreatic primordial buds, before fusion of the two buds to form the pancreas. This questions the hypothesis that the heterogeneous endocrine cell distribution seen in the adult pancreas is due to the contribution of only PP cells by the ventral bud and non-PP cells by the dorsal bud. Co-localization of glucagon and PP was observed extensively in the developing pancreas and the predominant expression of one over the other in an apparently organized non-random manner accounted for the glucagon- and PP-rich areas seen in the developing pancreas. A small number of cells immunoreactive to glucagon and PP were also observed in the adult. Reports of plasticity of differentiation of other pancreatic cells led us to investigate regeneration potential of the adult monkey pancreas. Partial obstruction of the Vervet monkey main pancreatic duct, by cellophane wrapping, resulted in duct cell proliferation and differentiation to form new endocrine tissue in a way that mimics normal organogenesis. Focal areas of hepatocytes were found in the regenerated pancreas of one monkey, illustrating further the latent developmental capabilities of adult pancreas cells. These findings could lead to interesting new therapies for pancreas and liver disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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