Hemosiderin Deposition in the Islets of Langerhans

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Hemosiderin deposition has been well investigated by many authors, such as in cases of diabetes mellitus, which is usually related to a deposition of hemosiderin in the B cells of the islets of Langerhans [35]. Hemosiderin deposition occurs predominantly in the acinar tissue in cases of primary hemochromatosis (fig. 4) and in the periinsular acinar tissue in patients who receive a large volume of blood through transfusions [36, 37]. In the latter, the distribution and amount of hemosiderin increase in accordance with the volume of blood given. According to Rahier et al. [36], the histological appearance of the islets was normal as HE staining, their shape and size being unchanged; amyloid deposits were absent, as were atrophic islets. A severe reduction in the number of immunoreactive B cells was noted in the four diabetic patients. Under the electron microscope, iron deposits were restricted to B cells and associated with progressive loss of endocrine granules.

Hence, glucose intolerance is related to selective deposition of hemosiderin in B cells of the pancreas.

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