Pancreatic islet isolation
Peri-insular extracellular matrix
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The presence and distribution in the peri-insular region of extracellular matrix, and in particular basement membrane, was investigated in a comparative study comprising pancreata of rat, dog, pig, and man. Basement membrane markers, collagen type-IV and laminin, were determined immunohistochemically. Additional information pertaining to the structural relationships between endocrine and exocrine pancreas, in particular cell-to-cell and cell-to-matrix contacts, was obtained by electron microscopy. In pig, very little periinsular capsule is present, and the structural integration of the porcine islet in the exocrine pancreas almost exclusively depends on cell-to-cell adhesion. In the canine pancreas, the islets are almost completely encapsulated with very little direct exocrine-to-endocrine cell-to-cell contact. In rat and man, the situation is intermediate with a tendency towards predominance of cell-to-matrix adhesion. The intra-insular adhesion mechanisms depend largely on cell-to-cell adhesion in all four species. The ultrastructural results suggest that collagenase preparations employed in islet isolation procedures should be of high purity as to preserve the protease-sensitive intra-islet cell-to-cell adhesion. Under these conditions, however, the endocrine-to-exocrine cell-to-cell contacts will be conserved also, resulting in an exocrine-tissue contamination of the islets of Langerhans. Consequently, additional steps for the effective removal of exocrine tissue and the purification of islets are required.
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