Influence of donor age on bovine pancreatic islet isolation

Marina Figliuzzi, Sergio Zappella, Marina Morigi, Patrizia Rossi, Piero Marchetti, Andrea Remuzzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. Pancreatic islets from pigs are largely used for experimental studies. However, pancreas harvesting requires modification of conventional slaughtering to reduce ischemia time. It has been shown that bovine pancreatic islets can be more easily obtained and they show satisfactory in vitro and in vivo function. To improve the isolation procedure we compared the effect of bovine donor age on islet isolation. Methods. Islets were isolated by collagenase digestion and sequential sieving from calves (6 months of age) and from adult bovine (> 16 months of age). After isolation the number of islet equivalents was calculated and histological and immunohistochemical studies performed. The purity and viability of islet for each preparation was also estimated. In vitro function of islets was evaluated by static insulin secretion assay, and alginate encapsulated islets were transplanted in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats for in vivo functional evaluation. Results. A significantly higher number of islets were obtained from calf pancreas, compared with adult bovine pancreas. Hystological examination showed intact morphologic features of islets. The purity of islet preparations was higher from calf pancreas than from adult pancreas. Cell viability, and insulin production in presence of high glucose concentration, were not affected by donor age. All animals receiving microencapsulated islets from calves showed normoglycemia for prolonged periods (17-40 days). Conclusions. These results indicate that pancreatic islet isolation is more efficient from juvenile bovine than from adult. Calf pancreas is a good and convenient source of tissue for massive islet isolation for experimental studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1037
Number of pages6
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 15 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


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