Rapid deposition of amyloid in human islets transplanted into nude mice

Diabetologia. 1995 May;38(5):543-9. doi: 10.1007/BF00400722.


Human islets of Langerhans were transplanted to the subcapsular space of the kidneys of nude mice which were either normoglycaemic or made diabetic with alloxan. After 2 weeks, the transplants were processed for light and electron microscopical analyses. In all transplants, islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP)-positive cells were found with highest frequency in normoglycaemic animals. IAPP-positive amyloid was seen in 16 out of 22 transplants (73%), either by polarisation microscopy after Congo red staining or by immune electron microscopy. At variance with previous findings of amyloid deposits exclusively in the extracellular space of islets of non-insulin-dependent diabetic patients, the grafted islets contained intracellular amyloid deposits as well. There was no clear difference in occurrence of amyloid between diabetic and non-diabetic animals. The present study indicates that human islets transplanted into nude mice very soon present IAPP-positive amyloid deposits. This technique may provide a valuable model for studies of the pathogenesis of islet amyloid and its impact on islet cell function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amyloid / analysis
  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Islets of Langerhans / ultrastructure
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / pathology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Nude
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Microscopy, Polarization
  • Middle Aged
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / pathology
  • Transplantation, Heterologous / physiology


  • Amyloid
  • Blood Glucose
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide