• Pancreatic islets;
  • Mast cells;
  • Transplantation


Mast cells are important mediators of normal angiogenesis, and participate in normal would healing, i.e. processes involved in pancreatic islet engraftment. The aim of the study was to evaluate if mast cells are present in islet grafts. For this purpose, male normoglycaemic Wistar—Furth rats were either untreated or syngeneically implanted with 250 islets under the renal capsule. The animals were killed 1 month later, and the kidneys and endogenous pancreas were removed, fixed and embedded in paraffin. The distribution of mast cells was studied in Alcian Blue stained sections. Mast cells were rarely encountered in endogenous islets, but were frequent in the renal capsule adjacent to islet grafts. Mast cells interspersed between graft endocrine cells were as rare as in the endogenous pancreas. We conclude that mast cells may contribute to the engraftment after islet transplantation.