Fractal and stereological analyses of insulin-induced rat exocrine pancreas remodelling
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Background: The effect of insulin on the endocrine pancreas has been the subject of extensive study, but quantitative morphometric investigations of the exocrine pancreas are scarce. This study was therefore undertaken to investigate the effect of acute and chronic insulin administration (two doses, 0.4 IU and 4 IU) on the morphology of rat pancreas acini. Materials and methods: Semi-fine sections stained with methylene blue and basic fuchsine or haematoxylin and eosin-stained 5-micrometer thick paraffin sections were used for fractal and stereological analysis of exocrine acini. Acute insulin treatment, independent of applied doses increased fractal dimension in line with decreased lacunarity of pancreas acini. Chronic low dose insulin decreased fractal dimension and increased lacunarity of pancreas acini, but a high dose had the opposite effect. The volume densities (Vv) of cytoplasm, granules and nucleus are affected differently: acute low dose and high chronic dose significantly decreased granules Vv, and in line increased cytoplasmic Vv, whereas other examined structures showed slight changes without statistical significance. Results: The results obtained from this investigation indicate that insulin treatment induced structural remodelling of the exocrine pancreas suggesting a substantial role of insulin in its functioning. Conclusions: Additionally, we showed that fine architectural changes in acini could be detected by fractal analysis, suggesting this method as an alternative or addition to routine stereology.
Keywords:Fractal analysis; Insulin; Pancreas acini; Stereology
Source:Folia Morphologica, 2018, 77, 3, 478-484
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