Islet of Langerhans
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The B-cells of the endocrine pancreas constitute an adequate model for in vitro study of the aging process in highly differentiated cells. In the present study, collagenase-isolated islets of Langerhans from young and senescent rats were cultured up to 28 days. The response of the B-cells to the stimulatory conditions of the culture medium involved the nucleus, ribosomes, endoplasmic reticulum, Golgi apparatus, and secretory granules. Correlated data from light microscopy, electron microscopy, and insulin radioimmunoassay show that the differentiation and function of senescent B-cells are maintained in culture, as it has been proven for the B-cells of younger animals. On the other hand, signs of cytological deficiency not directly concerned with the specific function of B-cells were observed: abnormal mitochondria and lysosomes are more numerous in the senescent B-cells. The proliferative capacity of the B-cells of aged rats is reduced.
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