Occurance of apoptosis during ischemia in porcine pancreas islet cells

Int J Artif Organs. 2003 Mar;26(3):205-10. doi: 10.1177/039139880302600305.


Purpose: Pancreas islet transplantation is a potential treatment of diabetes mellitus and porcine organs provide an easily available source of cells. Unfortunately quality and quantity of isolated islets are still not satisfactory. Apoptosis occurs in freshly isolated islets and plays a significant role in early graft loss. We evaluated the influence of four storage solutions on porcine pancreas islets.

Method: After warm ischemia of 15-20 minutes 12 organs were stored in 4 cold preservation solutions: Histidine-Tryptophan-Ketoglutarate solution (HTK), Hank's buffered saline solution (HBSS), University of Wisconsin (UW) solution and Ringer-Lactate (R). After cold ischemia for 100 minutes, organs were fixed in 3% formalin. Apoptotic cells were counted on hematocylin-eosin stainings.

Results: Most apoptotic cells were found in organs stored in R. Low numbers were found in the other groups. The difference between organs stored in R and organs stored in UW, HTK, or HBSS was highly significant. No significant difference could be found between UW, HTK and HBSS.

Conclusion: Cold and warm ischemia of the pancreas seems to induce apoptosis in islet cells. Preservation solutions cause less apoptosis than electrolyte solution. No significant differences could be found among the preservation solutions.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / drug effects
  • Apoptosis / physiology*
  • Female
  • Hypothermia, Induced / methods
  • Ischemia / pathology
  • Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / blood supply
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiopathology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Organ Preservation / methods
  • Organ Preservation Solutions / therapeutic use*
  • Pancreas / blood supply
  • Pancreas / drug effects
  • Pancreas / physiopathology
  • Swine


  • Organ Preservation Solutions