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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Reduced pancreatic insulin is associated with retarded growth of the pancreas in young prediabetic BB rats


  • H. Markholst
  • Å Lernmark

Summary, in English

The β-cell function in the perfused pancreas, the total pancreatic insulin content, and the weights of pancreas, kidney, spleen, and total body fat were compared at the age of 30 and 45 days in diabetes-prone and body weight-matched diabetes-resistant male BB rats. These inbred rats had an incidence rate of diabetes at 90 days of age of 80 and 0%, respectively. At day 30, the pancreatic insulin content was reduced in the diabetes-prone (n = 10) rats to 15 μg (range 7.7-31.8) compared with 32 μg (range 23.3-52.9) in the diabetes-resistant (n = 10) rats (p < 0.01). Although the kinetics of insulin release in response to glucose was maintained, the amount of insulin released in the diabetes-prone rats was decreased (p < 0.05) including the first peak (p < 0.05). The weight of the spleen was less (p < 0.05); whereas the weights of the pancreas, kidney, and total body fat did not differ from those observed in the diabetes-resistant control rats. At 45 days of age, the weight of the pancreas in the diabetes-prone rats (n = 8) was reduced to 159 mg (range 100-190) from 202 mg (range 185-214) (p < 0.01). The body weight and body fat were identical to those observed in the diabetes-resistant controls (n = 8) and their kidney (p < 0.05) and spleen (p < 0.01) were larger. The insulin content was reduced to the same magnitude as the reduction of pancreatic weight.

Publishing year












Document type

Journal article


Lippincott Williams & Wilkins


  • BB (Bio-Breeding) rat
  • Insulin release
  • Pancreatic growth
  • Pancreatic insulinopenia
  • Prediabetes




  • ISSN: 0885-3177