Insulin and Glucagon are involved in glucose homeostasis in addition to other factors secreted by the adipose tissue (adipokines). Insulin and Glucagon are produced by the endocrine pancreas. While Glucagon is released by alpha-cells of the islets of Langerhans to raise glycemia when blood glucose levels fall too low, Insulin has the opposite effect. Insulin is produced by beta-cells of the islets of Langerhans. It allows glucose to be taken up from the bloodstream when blood glucose levels are high and to be used by insulin-dependent tissues (liver, skeletal muscles, fat tissue…).
Let’s take a look at a selection of immuno-assays and primary cells for analysing these two hormones and the recentlly launched primary Human Islet cells.
Glucagon and Insulin have important applications in translational, clinical and drug discovery research. The ratio “Glucagon / Insulin” is a potential biomarker for Metabolic syndromes, Diabetes, Obesity but also for pancreatic cancers.
Ready-to-use immuno-assays allow convenient measurements of human Glucagon and Insulin
Glucagon- or Insulin-specific immuno-assays are compatible with various types of biological samples (serum, plasma, cell culture supernatant, urine, cell lysate…) with optimal detection limits.
For example, the Raybiotech Human Insulin ELISA Kit (which in fact detects both Human Insulin and Proinsulin) has a minimal detection limit of 4 µIU/ml; the Human Glucagon Competitive EIA kit goes down to 4,77 pg/ml. Such ready-to-use immuno-assays are also very robust, with Intra-assay CVs below < 10% and Inter-assay CVs under 15% most of the time.
Specificity and robustness are good criteria when considering Insulin and Gucagon monitoring with Immuno-assays. Nevertheless, you might also want to check their specificity against other proteins for accuracy. Your Insulin (Proinsulin) and Glugagon immuno-assays might not cross-react with other Interleukins, IFNs, growth factors, Leptin (OB), MCPs, MIPs or, human Ghrelin, Nesfatin, Angiotensin II, NPY and APC, respectively.
Glucose homeostasis is a very dynamic research field with new assays launched regularly (ex. new Raybiotech’s Human Epinephrine/Adrenaline ELISA Kit (another Insulin counter-regulator), Human Arginin Vasopressin (AVP) ELISA kits for cardiovascular studies, an Obesity/Adipokine Antibody Array to profile 62 adipokines in one assay… to name a few!). It’s useful to know that ISO 9001 certified laboratories, like those located at tebu-bio near Paris, can perform your Glucagon-, Insulin- and Adipokine-related quantifications too.
Such dynamism also comes from cell sourcing!
Primary Human Islet cell sources enable in vitro pancreatic cellular models
Human Islets for Research (HIRTM from Prodo Labs) have recently been made available to the research community.
These cells are primary human islets coming from organ donor pancreases approved for research but not for clinical transplantation. They are generated from proprietary tissue and cellular processes (pancreas digestion, islet purification, QCs…). Such controlled experimental procedures give uniform and high quality islet cells allowing the development of in vitro functional Human Islet models. They are ideal cellular models for diabetes, obesity and other metabolic syndrome studies.
Each lot of Human Islets for Research released has to meet specific criteria (being free from specific diseases, risks, and come with blood test, drug screen results together with appropriate paper work confirming documented informed consent…). It is even possible to receive e-mail alerts regarding the availability and the characteristics of newly released fresh Human Islet Cells by Prodo Labs for tebu-bio.
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