Relationships among residual beta cells, exocrine pancreas, and islet cell antibodies in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

Metabolism. 1993 Feb;42(2):196-203. doi: 10.1016/0026-0495(93)90035-m.


Quantitative analysis was performed using computerized morphometry on the relationships between residual beta cells, pancreatic exocrine glands, and islet cell antibodies (ICA) in 14 pancreata of insulin-dependent diabetic (IDDM) patients. Both pancreatic exocrine glands and beta cells were markedly reduced in weight in IDDM patients compared with non-insulin-dependent diabetic (NIDDM) patients or nondiabetic controls. beta cells were preserved in six cases and were completely abolished in eight cases. In nine IDDM pancreata weighed at autopsy, the weights of pancreatic exocrine glands in six patients with either no or virtually no residual beta cells (32.3 +/- 1.6 g) were greater than those in three patients with residual beta cells (23.1 +/- 2.5 g, P < .05). Infiltration of lymphocytes positive for leukocyte common antigen (LCA) around the islet was observed in only one case with ICA and residual beta cells. Infiltration of LCA-positive lymphocytes around pancreatic acinar cells was observed in 50% (six of 12) of patients examined. The weight of pancreatic exocrine glands in patients with LCA-positive lymphocyte infiltration (26.2 +/- 2.3 g) was lower than that in patients without this condition (33.2 +/- 2.4 g, P < .05). Pancreatic cytokeratin autoantibodies (PKA) were detected in four of 10 patients examined. In addition, all four ICA-positive patients had residual beta cells, while only one of seven ICA-negative patients had residual beta cells (P = .03).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology*
  • Keratins / immunology
  • Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Organ Size
  • Pancreas / pathology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • islet cell antibody
  • Keratins