Factors affecting human islet cell quality

The islets of Langerhans are the regions of the pancreas that contain its endocrine (i.e., hormone-producing) cells. Discovered in 1869 by German pathological anatomist Paul Langerhans, the islets of Langerhans constitute approximately 1% to 2% of the mass of the pancreas. There are about one million islets distributed throughout the pancreas of a healthy adult human. Each is separated from the surrounding pancreatic tissue by a thin fibrous connective tissue capsule. The islets of Langerhans contain beta cells, which secrete insulin, and play a significant role in diabetes.

Islets are widely used for transplantation to restore beta cell function from diabetes, offering an alternative to a complete pancreas transplantation or an artificial pancreas. Because the beta cells in the islets of Langerhans are selectively destroyed by an autoimmune process in type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation is a means of restoring physiological beta cell function in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Human Islets for Research (HIR)™ are primary human islets processed from organ donor pancreases that have been approved for research but not for clinical transplantation of either the  pancreas or the isolated islets. HIR™ are obtained in a proprietary process of pancreas digestion and islet purification that results in uniformly high quality HIR™ for delivery to diabetes  investigators. Quality Control (QC) testing is routinely performed prior to release to assure uniform quality and function of these islets available for research. [Read more…]

Obesity, Diabetes, Metabolic syndrome new research tools

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 effectInsulin 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.

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