U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

The .gov means it's official.
Federal government websites often end in .gov or .mil. Before sharing sensitive information, make sure you're on a federal government site.


The site is secure.
The https:// ensures that you are connecting to the official website and that any information you provide is encrypted and transmitted securely.

Skip to Main Navigation
Skip to Page Content
Skip to Atlas Navigation

Pancreatic Islets - Necrosis

Image of necrosis in the pancreatic islet from a female F344/N rat in a chronic study
Pancreatic islet - necrosis. Dropout of individual islet beta cells appears as clear vacuoles in a female F344/N rat from a chronic study.
Figure 1 of 1
next arrow


Necrosis of beta cells in pancreatic islets has been associated with zinc deficiency and with xenobiotics that bind zinc. Affected beta cells are typically shrunken and hypereosinophilic with pyknotic nuclei. The loss of beta cells can leave empty vacuoles ( Figure 1image opens in a pop-up window ).


When present, this change should be diagnosed and graded. Severity grading is determined by the number of islets affected and the magnitude of the necrosis. Associated lesions, such as inflammation, should be diagnosed separately if warranted by severity.


Haschek WM, Rousseaux CG, Wallig MA. 2010. Fundamentals of Toxicologic Pathology. Academic Press, New York, 251-259.
Abstract: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/book/9780123704696

Riley MGI, Boorman GA, Hayashi Y. 1990. Endocrine pancreas. In: Pathology of the Fischer Rat: Reference and Atlas (Boorman GA, Eustis SL, Elwell MR, Montgomery CA, MacKenzie WF, eds). Academic Press, San Diego, 545-553.
Abstract: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nlmcatalog/9002563