A new collagenase blend increases the number of islets isolated from mouse pancreas

Islets. Nov-Dec 2009;1(3):185-90. doi: 10.4161/isl.1.3.9556.


Diabetes is a predominant metabolic disorder in the industrialized nations. Since pancreatic islets play a key role in type I and type II diabetes, the isolation of islets from pancreatic tissues represents an important step in diabetes research. However, to date, only a small fraction of all islets, resident within any given pancreas, are harvested by using currently available enzyme blends. This holds true for islet isolation from both the mouse and the human pancreas. In the present study, the newly developed Liberase TL Research Grade was compared to the widely used Liberase RI to investigate the effect of increased collagenase purity on islet yield. The study shows that reducing the degradation products of collagenases during Liberase production significantly increases the number of islets isolated from the mouse pancreas by 28%, and, therefore, is expected to lower the numbers of mice and resulting costs for diabetes research accordingly. Furthermore, this study also points to a possibility to increase the number and mass of islets isolated from human pancreases, for which only a limited donor pool exists.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Count
  • Cell Separation
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid
  • Collagenases / chemistry
  • Collagenases / isolation & purification
  • Collagenases / pharmacology*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects*
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Pancreas / cytology
  • Pancreas / drug effects*
  • Pancreas / metabolism
  • Tissue Extracts / analysis
  • Tissue Extracts / pharmacology
  • Up-Regulation / drug effects


  • Drug Combinations
  • Insulin
  • Tissue Extracts
  • Collagenases