Sympathetic responses were evaluated in rats transplanted with neonatal pancreatic tissue. Transplantation was by one of two methods: mild collagenase digestion with subsequent intraportal injection, or direct placement of intact pancreatic tissue under the renal capsule. Compared with control intact animals, both groups of transplanted rats reverted to normal fasting and postglucose load plasma glucose and insulin. The hyperglycemia characteristic of stress or of injected exogenous epinephrine was present and similar in all three groups. The response to an intragastric glucose load or to tolbutamide injection during stress was similar in transplanted and in control animals. All three groups of rats responded to sustained cortisol injection with a compensatory hyperinsulinemia but maintained normal plasma glucose, water intake, and urine volume. No evidence could be detected in this study of an exaggerated “denervated” response of the transplanted islets. The normal sympathetic responses of these neonatal islet preparations in which little or no collagenase was used, in comparison with the abnormal responses previously reported for collagenase-treated individually isolated adult rat islets, suggest differences in recuperative powers of the sympathetic innervation in islets, possibly related to age and to method of preparation of transplanted tissue.

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