Pancreatic Islet Preparation
The DRC Tissue Procurement Core isolates functional pancreatic islets from mice. Other organs of interest (spleen, pancreatic lymph nodes, thymus) may be collected at the same time if desired.
While services are requested through iLabs (Barbara Davis Center Bioresource Core), actual scheduling must be done by personally contacting the Core (phone or email).
Donor mice (client provides) are humanely euthanized, a collagenase/neutral protease cocktail is injected
via the common bile duct, and the enzyme-inflated pancreas is removed. After incubation at 37°C the
islets are density-gradient purified from the digested pancreas, and ultimately the clean islets are hand-
picked under the microscope.
The client may request the end product to be reported as either a simple islet count or scored as islet
equivalents (IEQs; 1 IEQ = an islet roughly 150mm square).
Islet / Tissue Transplantation
Harvested islets are scored as IEQs and transplanted under the kidney capsule of anaesthetized
recipient(s). Recipient mice are also provided by the client; arrangements may be made to house
transplanted animals in the BDC Animal Facility.
This (kidney capsule) transplantation service is also available for other tissue types (client provides).
Animal Protocol Requirement
Researchers requesting pancreatic islets from the Core must first possess a current IACUC-approved
animal protocol. A protocol amendment is generally required; I need to be added to your protocol and you
will need to include a section on our islet harvest / transplantation procedure(s). I will provide you with
my PQF and the appropriate protocol narrative(s).
Human Islet Program
The islet core has a Master Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) in place with the Alberta
Diabetes Institute. By providing a copy of their Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) approval, a brief
description of their work, and signing on to the MTA, interested researchers have access to human islets
at a cost of $0.10 CAD / IEQ (currently $75 (U.S.)/1000 IEQ plus a $50 (U.S.) shipping charge).
Islets are typically offered every week or two. Orders are placed through the Core and are delivered here
Scott Beard, Islet isolation manager
Barbara Davis Center Rm. 4209