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Preparation of islets of Langerhans from rabbits and hamsters by the collagenase digestion technique

Preparation of islets of Langerhans from rabbits and hamsters by the collagenase digestion technique

Acta Diabetologica Latina 12(3-4): 208-218

In this report we describe some modifications of the collagenase digestion technique for the preparation of pancreatic islets, that we have found helpful in preparing isolated islets of Langerhans from rabbits and hamsters. These modifications include disrupting the pancreatic acinar tissue by directly infiltrating it with Hanks' solution, periodically monitoring the progress of the collagenase digestion of the pancreatic tissue with the dissecting microscope, and purifying the islets by serial passage of the digested tissue through three Petri dishes containing Hanks' solution. This technique results in the successful isolation of the fragile and irregular rabbit islets as well as the isolation of the sturdier and more uniformly shaped hamster islets. The isolated respond to a glucose stimulus with an increase in radioimmunoassayable insulin secretion. We also describe a filtration technique for the preparation of isolated islets for histological examination. Isolated islets are retained on Millipore filters. The filters are then fixed, stained and mounted. Finally, we present realistic photographs of rabbit and hamster islets, as they appear under the dissecting microscope, during various stages of purification and isolation.

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Accession: 041045755

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PMID: 178131

DOI: 10.1007/bf02581302

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