PREVIOUS studies in this laboratory have indicated the technical feasibility1-4 of pancreatic homotransplantation and suggested that the islet cell homograft might be less subject to rejection than the acinar tissue. In one of the pancreatic homografts, the islet cell tissue continued to function for as long as 75 days with no effort having been made to modify the rejection process.3 Since clinical application is the ultimate goal, and because of the difficulty inherent in obtaining pancreatic homografts as well as the potential desirability of transplanting the islet cell mass only, evaluation of heterotransplantation of the islet cell mass was elected.
A colony of 13 sheep was established, and in 11 of this group, the pancreatic ducts were divided and ligated at their point of entrance into the duodenum. The abdomen was then closed and the pancreas allowed to undergo fibrosis with destruction of the acini. Following ligation,