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Keywords:

  • pygmy sperm whale;
  • Kogia breviceps;
  • dwarf sperm whale;
  • Kogia simus;
  • pancreatic anatomy;
  • peroxidase-antiperoxidase;
  • islets of Langerhans

Abstract

Histologic studies of pancreatic tissues of one pygmy sperm whale, Kiogia breviceps, and one dwarf sperm whale, K. simus, demonstrated rather typical exocrine pancreatic anatomy. Peroxidase-antiperoxidase (PAP) techniques determined that the cell composition of the islets of Langerhans resembled that of other mammals. Within islets, cells secreting insulin (B-cells) and glucagon (A-cells), were clearly demonstrated, but, surprisingly, isolated A- and B-cells were also found among pancreatic acinar cells. PAP techniques demonstrated the presence of neuron-specific enolase within islets, but failed to provide a sufficiently clear reaction to demonstrate the presence of somarostatin-producing D-cells. No positive PAP reaction for serotonin occurred.