Islet isograft function was analyzed after transplantation of 4 well-defined endocrine volumes (12.5%, 25%, 50%, and 100% of the endocrine volume in the normal adult rat pancreas) to 3 different sites (kidney, liver, and spleen). Graft function was tested in unanesthetized, unstressed rats by the responses to glucose infusion and to a meal. All animals with grafts ≥ 25% of the endocrine volume of the rat pancreas returned to normoglycemia after transplantation. The minimal graft volume for restoring normoglycemia is probably between 12.5% and 25%, since also a small number of grafts of 12.5% were successful. At 1 month, basal glucose and insulin levels were similar to those of controls in rats with grafts to the spleen, but higher in rats with grafts to the kidney or liver. Irrespective of the transplantation site, recipients had higher glucose and lower insulin levels than controls in response to glucose infusion. In response to a meal, however, only the first-phase insulin response was reduced, but the total insulin output during the entire test was similar to that of controls. Graft performance was found to be graft-size dependent. Results of tests performed at 2 months showed a tendency of increasing responsiveness compared with the results of tests at 1 month.
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