2-[4(2,2- Dichlorocyclopropyl )phenoxy]2-methyl propionic acid (ciprofibrate), a peroxisome proliferator , induced hepatocytes in the pancreas of adult male F-344 rats when added to their diet at a dosage of 10 mg/kg body weight for 60-72 wk. These cells are morphologically indistinguishable from hepatic hepatocytes and were usually localized adjacent to islets of Langerhans with extensions into surrounding acinar tissue. A significant increase in the volume density of peroxisomes, together with immunochemically detectable amounts of two peroxisome-associated enzymes, was observed in pancreas with hepatocytes of rats maintained on ciprofibrate. Uricase-containing crystalloid nucleoids, specific for rat hepatocyte peroxisomes, were present in pancreatic hepatocytes. These structures facilitated the identification of cells with hybrid cytoplasmic features characteristic of pancreatic acinar and endocrine cells and hepatocytes. Such cells are presumed to represent a transitional state in which pancreas specific genes are being repressed while liver specific ones are simultaneously expressed. The presence of exocrine and/or endocrine secretory granules in transitional cells indicates that acinar/intermediate cells represent the precursor cell from which pancreatic hepatocytes are derived.

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