Isolation of the elusive pig islet

C. Ricordi, C. Socci, A. M. Davalli, C. Staudacher, P. Baro, A. Vertova, I. Sassi, F. Gavazzi, G. Pozza, V. Di Carlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

178 Scopus citations


This study describes a procedure for large scale isolation of swine islets. The reported results are from 15 consecutive isolations. The glands were removed from live animals with no warm ischemia, and the pancreata were digested by a modification of the automated method for human islet isolation. It was possible to separate an average of 690,000 ± 279,429 islets per pancreas corresponding to 10,360 ± 4034 islets per gram of pancreas with a volume of 714 ± 480 mm3. After purification the recovery was 255,000 ± 32,407 islets corresponding to 4,000 ± 567 islets per gram of pancreas. Purity of the final preparation was 80% to 95% islets. Insulin content resulted in an average of 146.8 ± 78 U before purification and 71 ± 53 U after purification. After a 10 mm3 aliquot of the final preparation was transplanted under the renal subcapsular space of seven nude mice with diabetes, normoglycemia occured in six of the mice. Thirty days after transplantation, nephrectomy of the kidneys bearing the grafts produced a rapid return to the diabetic state in all cases. This method makes it possible to provide large numbers of intact swine islets for preliminary studies of prevention of the rejection of pig islet xenograft by immunoalteration and immunoisolation procedures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)688-694
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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