The intraportal injection of 350 to 1,000 isolated islets into streptozotocin-diabetic rats immediately normalized (∼ 24 hours) fasting plasma glucose and insulin levels. Polyuria, polydipsia, and hyperglucagonemia disappeared more gradually over a 2-to-12-week period—the time required for normalization varying with the severity of the diabetes and the number of islets transplanted. In long-term islet-transplanted rats (> five months), the hepatic insulin and glucagon reserves averaged 50 per cent and 25 per cent, respectively, of the corresponding normal pancreatic hormone content. Glucagon was increased slightly in the pancreas of streptozotocin-diabetic rats and decreased considerably in transplanted animals. However, total pancreatic glucagon (i.e. pancreatic and hepatic reserves) in transplanted animals was the same as the pancreatic content of normal control rats, indicating the presence of feedback control mechanism(s) in the regulation of pancreatic glucagon reserves. Long-term transplanted islets demonstrated well-granulated A-, B-, and D-cell movement out of the vascular space and the formation of narrow intercellular spaces and junctional complexes with surrounding hepatocytes.

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