Immunohistochemical identification of the endocrine cells in the pancreatic islets of the camel, horse and cattle

Shireen A. Hafez, Doaa M. Zaghloul, Thomas Caceci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study considers the distribution of various endocrine cells in islets of Langerhans in the pancreas of several species of domestic animal, including the dromedary camel (Camelus dromedarius) using immunohistochemistry, and relates our observations with reference to the welldocumented general histology of the mammalian pancreas. The pancreatic islets were observed as compact areas of pale cells surrounded by darker presumably exocrine tissue. The most distinct delineation of the islets from the surrounding acini was in the horse and the least was in cattle. Insulin-immunoreactive cells (ß-cells) were most abundant followed by glucagon- (α-), somatostatin- (Δ-), and pancreatic polypeptide-immunoreactive (F- or PP-) cells in decreasing order, in all species except cattle where PP-cells were second to ß-cells in their distribution. The most prominent special pattern was observed in the distribution of α- and ß- cells in the pancreatic islet of the horse where α- cells were located in the center of the islet surrounded by ß-cells. In the camel, ß-cells were distributed throughout the islet in the center and the periphery. Alpha cells were mostly observed as clumps in the periphery area. Clumps of small number of Δ-cells and a few PP cells were found throughout the islet. In cattle, ß-cells were distributed throughout the islets. Other cells occupied a more peripheral location. The physical differences in distribution of endocrine cells might result in differences in the need and interaction of hormones to each other in different species.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Anatomy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2015


  • Camel pancreas
  • Cattle pancreas
  • Horse pancreas
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Pancreatic islet cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy


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