Ontogeny of the endocrine pancreas in sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax): an ultrastructural study. II. The big and secondary islets

Research paper by B. Agulleiro, M. P. García Hernández, M. T. Lozano

Indexed on: 01 May '94Published on: 01 May '94Published in: Cell and Tissue Research


The big and secondary islets of sea bass larvae were characterized ultrastructurally from, 25 to 60 days after hatching. From the 25th day, big islets consisted of inner type II and III, external type I and peripheral type IV cells. From the 55th day, type V cells appeared in limited peripheral areas. Secondary islets, first found in 32-day-old larvae, were made up of inner type II and III, external type I, and peripheral either type IV and V cells (type I islets), or only type V cells (type II islets). Type I cells contained secretory granules with a fine granular, low-medium electron-dense material, whereas the secretory granules of type II cells were smaller and had a high electron-dense core with diffused limits; needle and rod-like crystalloid contents were occasionally found. Type III secretory granules posessed a homogeneous, high or medium electron-dense material with or without a clear halo. Type IV cells had secretory granules with a polygonal dense core embedded in a granular matrix and granules containing a high or medium electron-dense material. Type V cells had secretory granules with a fine granular, high or medium electron-dense content. These cell-types correlated with cells previously identified immuno-cytochemically, as regards to their distribution in the islets, and related to those characterized ultrastructurally in adult specimens. Thus, types I, II, III, IV and V correspond to D1, B, D2, A and PP cells, respectively. From the 32nd day onwards, endocrine cells of all the different types were found grouped, type V cells also being observed in isolation close to pancreatic ducts and/or blood vessels. Small groups consisting of type I and II cells were found in 40-day-old larvae. A mitotic centroacinar ductular cell containing some secretory granules similar to those of type I cells, was seen adjacent to a type I cell. As the larvae grew older, the endoplasmic reticulum developed, the number of free ribosomes decreased, and the number and size of the secretory granules increased. Dark type I, II, III, IV and V cells were found in the islets and cell clusters from the 55th day onwards.