Pancreatic sections from 21 cases of rhesus disease and 20 control newborn infants of 30–40-wk gestational age were stained by the immunoperoxidase method for insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, and pancreatic polypeptide (PP). The fractional area occupied by each cell type was estimated, taking note of whether the gland contained PP-rich (ventral lobe) or PP-poor islets (dorsal lobe). In the PP-rich part of the pancreas, the volume fraction of all four endocrine cell types was significantly greater in the rhesus cases than in the controls. No difference was found between the two groups in the PP-poor part of the gland. The results show that abnormal development of the PP-rich part of the pancreas occurs in erythroblastosis fetalis. The localization of the changes to one part of the pancreas may explain some of the earlier conflicting reports on this topic.

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