We present a new technique for analyzing the three-dimensional structure of intact isolated islets of Langerhans. Adult rat and human islets were stained with whole-mount immunofluorescence techniques and optically sectioned with a confocal microscope. This has several advantages over traditional methods: 1) the technical difficulties in serial sectioning and handling the large numbers of sections are avoided, 2) optical sectioning by confocal microscopy gives improved resolution and strongly suppresses light from out-of-focus structures, and 3) entire islets can be rapidly imaged for the presence of positive staining. This new technique should facilitate the study of the three-dimensional structure of islets of Langerhans.

This content is only available via PDF.