Freeze-dried pancreas sections from 7-, 17-and 27-week-old genetically diabetic (db/db) and normal (±/±) mice were subjected to proton bombardment and the concentrations of 15 elements in B cells and exocrine pancreas were calculated from the characteristic X-rays emitted. In the 7-week-old diabetic animals, B cells contained significantly above-normal levels of Na and S, while exocrine pancreas contained subnormal levels of Ca, and excess Mn. The B cells from the 17-week-old diabetic animals contained subnormal levels of Cu and the exocrine pancreas of the 27-week-old diabetic animals was deficient in Cd. The 7-, 17- and 27-week-old, genetically diabetic (db/db) mice were hyperglycemic, hyperinsulinemic and heavier than age-matched normal (±/±) mice. Although significant changes were found in elemental composition when comparing both B cells and exocrine pancreas at different ages, the changes were not consistent. Therefore, it appears as if the measured elemental changes were random and not related to the onset of diabetes.

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