Autotransplantation of pancreatic islets without separation of exocrine and endocrine tissue in totally pancreatectomized dogs

Surgery. 1977 Jul;82(1):74-81.


The aims of this study were to determine whether diabetes could be ameliorated in dogs by autotransplantation of pancreatic fragments to the spleen and to determine the optimal time of collagenase digestion for pancreatic tissue dispersal. Forty-eight dogs were made diabetic by total pancreatectomy. Fifteen dogs not further treated survived 7.0+/-1.1 (SE) days with a mean plasma glucose of 401+/-5 (SE) mg/100 ml 2 days after pancreatectomy. The pancreases of 33 dogs were distended with Hanks' solution, minced, digested with collagenase (600 microns/ml of tissue), for 0 to 25 minutes, and autotransplanted to the splenic pulp. The incidence of permanent normoglycemia (fasting plasma glucose less than 150 mg/100 ml) and the K value of glucose tolerance tests (GTT) performed 2 and 10 weeks after transplant were determined in experimental groups divided according to the length of collagenase digestion. All five dogs receiving undigested tissue remained hyperglycemic. One of seven dogs receiving tissue digested for 10 minutes became normoglycemic. In contrast, seven of eight, seven of seven, and six of six dogs receiving tissue digested for 15, 20, and 25 minutes, respectively, became normoglycemic (followed for 6 months). K values at 2 weeks were 1.20+/-1.19 (SE)% 1.60+/-0.25 (SE)%, and 0.78+/-0.08 (SE)% in the normolgycemic dogs of the 15, 20, and 25 minute digestion groups, respectively. The K value of normal dogs was 3.30+/-0.27 (SE)%. The glucose tolerance curves of the 20 minute group at 2 and 10 weeks most nearly approximated the curves of normal dogs. K values improved in all recipient dogs. Diabetes recurred immediately and death occurred at a mean of 4.8+/-1.5 days in 12 recipient dogs following splenectomy. We conclude that pancreatic fragments can be successfully autotransplanted to the spleen without separation of endocrine and exocrine tissue and that 20 minutes is the optimal period of collagenase digestion for tissue preparation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Islets of Langerhans / enzymology
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Microbial Collagenase
  • Pancreatectomy*
  • Recurrence
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Spleen / surgery
  • Splenectomy
  • Time Factors
  • Transplantation, Autologous


  • Blood Glucose
  • Microbial Collagenase