Spontaneous pancreatic islet amyloidosis in 40 baboons

G. B. Hubbard, K. E. Steele, K. J. Davis, M. M. Leland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Spontaneous amyloidosis occurs in many nonhuman primate species but remains difficult to diagnose and treat. Nonhuman primates continue to offer promise as animal models in which to study amyloidosis in humans. Amyloidosis was not diagnosed clinically but was found histologically in four male and 36 female baboons. The baboons averaged 18 years of age at death (range, 7-28 years). Clinical signs, if present, were hyperglycemia and cachexia. Blood glucose values were elevated in 12 of 30 baboons with available clinical pathology data. Four baboons had been clinically diagnosed as diabetic and three were treated with insulin. Amyloid was found in the islets of Langerhans of the pancreas in 40 baboons; 35 baboons had amyloid only in the islets of Langerhans. Amyloid was found in nonislet tissue of baboons as follows: five, nonislet pancreas; four, intestine and adrenal; three, kidney; two, prostate and spleen; and one each, lymph node, liver, gall bladder, stomach, tongue, urinary bladder, and salivary gland. Sections of paraffin-embedded tissues were evaluated for amyloid with hematoxylin and eosin (HE) and congo red (CR) staining, and using immunohistochemistry for human islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), glucagon, pancreatic polypeptide (PP), somatostatin (SS), and porcine insulin. Islet amyloid was positive with HE in 40 baboons, with CR in 39 baboons, and with IAPP and CGRP in 35 baboons. IAPP and CGRP only stained islet amyloid. PP, SS, glucagon, and porcine insulin did not stain amyloid. Islet amyloidosis in the baboon appears to be difficult to diagnose clinically, age-related, and similar to islet amyloidosis in other species. The baboon may be a good model for the study of islet amyloidosis in humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)84-90
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of medical primatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Amyloid
  • Animal model
  • Diabetes
  • Disease
  • Islets
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Pancreas
  • Papio

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)


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