M2 macrophages play an important role in tissue repair and regeneration. They have also been found to modulate β-cell replication in mouse models of pancreatic injury and disease. We previously reported that β-cell replication is strongly increased in a subgroup of human organ donors characterized by prolonged duration of stay in an intensive care unit (ICU) and increased number of leukocytes in the pancreatic tissue. In the present study we investigated the relationship between duration of stay in the ICU, M2 macrophages, vascularization, and pancreatic cell replication. Pancreatic organs from 50 donors without diabetes with different durations of stay in the ICU were analyzed by immunostaining and digital image analysis. The number of CD68+CD206+ M2 macrophages increased three- to sixfold from ≥6 days’ duration of stay in the ICU onwards. This was accompanied by a threefold increased vascular density and a four- to ninefold increase in pancreatic cells positive for the replication marker Ki67. A strong correlation was observed between the number of M2 macrophages and β-cell replication. These results show that a prolonged duration of stay in the ICU is associated with an increased M2 macrophage number, increased vascular density, and an overall increase in replication of all pancreatic cell types. Our data show evidence of marked levels of tissue repair in the human donor pancreas.
- Received May 28, 2019.
- Accepted December 10, 2019.
- © 2019 by the American Diabetes Association.