Human islets of Langerhans were isolated with the principles of collagenase perfusion via the pancreatic duct and gentle dissociation of tissue. The number of islets released was 161 × 103, distributed as 76 × 103large (>100-μm) and 85 × 103 small (<100-μm) islets. Recovery after Ficoll-gradient purification was 61% for the large islets and 42% for the small islets. The final islet volume was 240 μl, with purity of 70–90% (large islets) and.20–40% (small islets). Perifusion with glucose elicited a biphasic release of insulin, with the response rising sixfold from basal secretion. Implantation of pure islets under the kidney capsule of normal or streptozocin-induced diabetic nude mice resulted in human C-peptide secretion and partial or complete reversal of hyperglycemia, confirmed by histological recovery. The data show that these methods provide large quantities of viable purified human islets.

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