Effect of genetic background on the capacity for islet cell replication in mice

Diabetologia. 1984 Oct;27(4):464-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00273912.


Proliferation of islet cells may compensate for both an increased peripheral insulin resistance and islet cell destruction but the capacity for regeneration may be genetically determined. For the latter reason, glucose-stimulated islet cell replication was estimated in both inbred C57BL/6J (BL/6) and C57BL/KsJ (BL/Ks) mice. Islets isolated from both strains were exposed to high concentrations of glucose in vitro or in vivo for a prolonged time period. This was achieved either by culturing the islets free-floating in a high glucose concentration medium for 3 days or implanting the islets intrasplenically in insufficient numbers to cure alloxan-diabetic syngeneic recipients. In both strains high glucose concentration culture was found to increase the autoradiographic labelling index of the islets but the replicatory activity decreased with age. The proliferative rate of the islet cells of the BL/6 mice was about twice as high as that of the BL/Ks mice irrespective of age and glucose concentration. Likewise, the labelling index of intrasplenic BL/6 islets implanted into alloxan-diabetic mice was twice as high as that of the islets implanted into alloxan-diabetic BL/Ks mice. The replicatory activity of the latter islets did not differ statistically from that of islets implanted into non-diabetic control BL/Ks mice. No differences in the rates of proinsulin and total protein biosynthetic rates were observed between high glucose concentration-cultured islets of the two mouse strains. The present results indicate that the proliferative response of pancreatic islets to a prolonged glucose stimulation may be genetically determined. This may play a significant role in the development of different diabetic syndromes both in laboratory animals and man.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging
  • Animals
  • Cell Division
  • Cells, Cultured
  • DNA Replication
  • Female
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / growth & development
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred Strains
  • Proinsulin / biosynthesis
  • Protein Biosynthesis
  • Species Specificity


  • Proinsulin