Optical imaging of pancreatic beta cells in living mice expressing a mouse insulin I promoter-firefly luciferase transgene

Genesis. 2005 Oct;43(2):80-6. doi: 10.1002/gene.20157.


We generated transgenic mice expressing firefly (Photinus pyralis) luciferase (luc) under the control of the mouse insulin I promoter (MIP). The mice have normal glucose tolerance and pancreatic islet architecture. The luciferase-expressing beta cells can be readily visualized in living mice using whole-body bioluminescent imaging. The MIP-luc transgenic mice may be useful for monitoring changes in beta cell function or mass in living animals with normal or altered metabolic states.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Luciferases, Firefly / analysis*
  • Luciferases, Firefly / genetics
  • Luminescent Agents / analysis*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic / genetics*
  • Proinsulin / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic / genetics
  • Transgenes / genetics


  • Luminescent Agents
  • Proinsulin
  • Luciferases, Firefly