Immunocytochemical detection of glucagon and insulin cells in endocrine pancreas and cyclic disparity of plasma glucose in the turtleMelanochelys trijuga

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The present investigation was carried out to know the seasonal variation in plasma glucose, insulin and glucagon cells during the reproductive cycle of untreated Melanochelys trijuga. Pancreatic endocrine cells were immunochemically localized. Insulin-immunoreactive (IR) cells occurred in groups of 3–20 and were in close apposition, while glucagon-IR cells were distributed individually between the exocrine pancreas or formed anastomosing cords where cells were not intimately attached. Whenever both IR cell types were present together forming an islet, insulin-IR cells formed clusters in the centre with glucagon-IR cells being scattered at the periphery. Glucagon-IR cells seemed to be secretory throughout the pancreas during the reproductive cycle, while insulin-IR cells were found to be pulsating in their secretion. Mean size of the islet was 1.306, 0.184 and 2.558 mm in the regenerative, reproductive and regressive periods, respectively. In general, insulin-IR cells measured 5.18 μm and glucagon-IR cells 5.22 μm in their longest axis. Invariably, glucagon-IR cells were more in number than insulin-IR cells. The fasting plasma glucose level was 69.97 mg% during the regenerative period, which increased to 97.96 mg% during the reproductive period, and reached a peak value of 113.52 mg% in the regressive period.

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