DL-Ethionine is the antagonist of methionine, which is one of the essential amino acids, and is known to cause pancreatic acinar cell necrosis in rats and other experimental animals by either intraperitoneal injection or oral administration. The mechanism of pancreatic damage is presumed to be abnormal metabolism in protein synthesis. There are also other chemical agents, such as 1-aminocyclopentane carboxylic acid (ACPC) and puromycin, which can cause pancreatic acinar cell necrosis and degeneration.
These chemical agents have therefore been used for experiments on pancreatic acinar cell regeneration. On the other hand, the chemical agents which produce pancreatic endocrine cell destruction, such as alloxan  and strepto-zotocin [5-7], have been used for various experiments on pancreatic endocrine regeneration, and it is also known that these chemical agents produce diabetic states in rats and guinea-pigs. Furthermore, studies on regeneration of pancreatic acinar cells and endocrine cells after partial or subtotal pancreatectomy of some experimental animals, have been reported . My previous experiment on the characteristic histological patterns of regeneration in the chemically-injured animal pancreas suggested that pancreatic acinar cell regeneration followed by necrosis and destruction by DL-ethionine administration occurred as early as 3 days after the termination of DL-ethionine administration. Pancreatic endocrine cells also regenerated in an early phase, and these cells were found in ductal and/or ductular epithelia, as well as in isolated cases in the interstitium. Histochemically recognized 7-GTP activity in such pancreata was restored rapidly to the control value in parallel with the histopathological restoration. Electronmicroscopic observations supported this view, suggesting that functional restoration of pancreatic exocrine cells begins at an early stage and finishes within a shorter period. Recently, expression of some growth factors was proposed in close relation to pancreatic regeneration. Expression of platelet-derived growth factor-A (PDGF-A) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in regeneration of rat pancreas was determined by immunohistochem-ical analysis , and epidermal growth factor and leukemia-inhibitor factor induced exocrine-endocrine transdifferentiation in vitro . Furthermore, Renuka et al.  suggested that the increased muscarinic Ml and M3 receptor subtypes stimulated insulin secretion and islet cell proliferation during pancreas regeneration. Also, morphological examinations of experimental animals clarified the potential endocrine and exocrine progenitors as tubular complex  and acinoinsular and/or ductuloinsular transformation.
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Department of Clinical Pathology
Juntendo University, Nerima Hospital
Takanodai 3-10-10, Nerima, Tokyo 177-8521 (Japan)
Tel +81 3 5923 3111, E-Mail [email protected]
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...