Thirty-one primary canine pancreatic endocrine tumors and their metastases were studied histologically and immunohistochemically for the presence of insulin, glucagon, somatostatin, pancreatic polypeptide (PP), gastrin, and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). Tumors were also evaluated for the presence of amyloid. The cytoarchitectural pattern of 25 of 31 primary tumors was predominantly solid, whereas three tumors were mostly glandular, two were unclassified, and one had a gyriform pattern. Cells with insulin immunoreactivity were found in 30 of 31 tumors and were found in all cases in which there was clinical evidence of inappropriate insulin secretion. Insulin was the only hormone demonstrable in three of the 30 tumors, but cells immunoreactive for other hormones were also present in various combinations in most tumors [i.e., glucagon (13 of 30), somatostatin (17 of 30), PP (25 of 30), and gastrin (2 of 30)]. One tumor contained only cells with glucagon and PP immunoreactivity. Amyloid was found in ten of 31 primary tumors but was not detected in metastases. Cells with insulin immunoreactivity were the only cell type consistently present in tumors containing amyloid. Amyloid deposits did not immunoreact with any of the antisera. Seventeen of 31 dogs had metastasis of the pancreatic endocrine tumor to regional lymph nodes, liver, or both. All metastases available for study (15 of 17) contained cells with insulin immunoreactivity and some contained cells with PP or somatostatin immunoreactivity. No statistically significant (P > 0.05) differences in tendency to metastasize were found when pancreatic endocrine tumors were compared by region of origin, cytoarchitectural pattern, presence of amyloid, or by number of hormones contained within the tumor.
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The authors acknowledge the technical assistance of Ms. Jan Shivers. This work was supported by a grant from the Biomedical Investigation Fund, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota.