Assays for islet cell antibodies (ICA) are finding increasing application in clinical diabetology. We have developed a new islet cell antibody assay system (ICA-pA), whose salient features include: (1) utilization of fluorescein-conjugated staphylococcal protein A as a standard second-step reagent, the advantages of this approach being improved “signal” (islet)/“noise” (acini) ratio due to reduction of interfering background acinar pancreatic staining, and facilitation of assay standardization provided by the use of a chemically pure conjugated protein A reagent; (2) monoclonal antibody counterstaining with rhodamine-conjugated BISL-32 for the rapid identification of islets in pancreatic sections; and (3) quantitation of circulating serum ICA by microimmunofluorometric techniques.

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