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Abstract

Portions of pancreases were removed from nineteen and one-half day fetuses from diabetic and nondiabetic rats. These explants were grown for four days in organ culture by the watch glass method.

Four types of culture media were used: standard medium containing 165 mg of glucose per 100 ml; similar standard medium supplemented with 0.70 to 2.20 mU per ml of insulin (beef); high glucose medium containing 1050 mg of glucose per 100 ml; similar high glucose medium supplemented with 0.65 to 2.00 mU per ml of insulin (beef).

In cultures of pancreases grown on standard media both with and without added insulin, there were large increases in the number of granulated beta cells.

In cultures of pancreases of fetuses from diabetic rats, which were grown on high glucose medium, the high level of glucose maintained the cultures in a simulated diabetic environment in which few granulated beta cells appeared. Conversely, when the cultures of fetuses from diabetic rats were grown on high glucose medium with added insulin, there was an increase in the number of granulated beta cells.

These observations suggest that the insulin level in the culture medium influences the granulation of the beta cell.