To investigate the effect of hyperglycemia on normal islets, rats were made diabetic by a 95﹪ partial pancreatectomy and treated with insulin, saline, or chlorpropamide for 3 mo. Histologic examination and morphometry of the residual pancreas showed islet enlargement and fibrosis that correlated with the mean lasting plasma glucose during the experimental period. Treatment of diabetes with insulin prevented the islet disorganization. The B-cell area per islet remained constant and was not affected by hyperglycemia. Chlorpropamide had little effect on the fasting plasma glucose or islet structure, and no “μ-cytotrophic” effect was seen. Chronic hyperglycemia induces islet damage that may affect residual B-cell function in diabetes.

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