Noninvasive measurement of human islet cell mass in pancreas or following islet transplantation by nuclear imaging has yet to be achieved. It has been shown using mouse tumor models that pretargeting imaging strategies are sensitive and can greatly increase target to nontarget signal ratios. The objective now is to demonstrate the specific pretargeting of human islet cells in mice. Our pretargeting strategy uses an anti-human islet cell antibody HPi1, conjugated to a phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (MORF) that binds specifically to a (99m)Tc labeled complementary MORF (cMORF). Sensitivity and specificity of the pretargeting were first validated in culture using a human beta cell line (betalox5) and a negative control human cell line (HEK293). Pretargeting was then used to target and visualize these two cell lines and human islets transplanted subcutaneously in NOD-scid IL2rγ(null) mice. In culture, (99m)Tc accumulation on the betalox5 cells pretargeted by MORF-HPi1 was 100-fold higher than on untreated betalox5 cells or following treatment with native HPi1 and much higher than on the MORF-HPi1 pretargeted control HEK293 cells. Small animal imaging readily localized the transplanted betalox5 cells and human islets, but not the HEK293 cells. Ex vivo counting demonstrated 3-fold higher (99m)Tc accumulation in the transplanted betalox5 cells and human islets than in the control HEK293 cells. The target accumulation was also shown to increase linearly with increased numbers of the implanted betalox5 cells. These results demonstrate specific binding of radioactivity and successful imaging of human betalox5 cells and human islets transplanted in mice. Thus MORF/cMORF pretargeting may be useful to measure noninvasively human islet cell mass within the pancreas or following islet transplantation.