Background: We evaluated three commercially available enzymes for pancreatic digestion by comparing key parameters during the islet isolation process, as well as islet quality post-isolation.
Methods: Retrospectively compared and analyzed islet isolations from pancreata using three different enzyme groups: Liberase HI (n=63), Collagenase NB1/Neutral Protease (NP) (n=43), and Liberase Mammalian Tissue Free Collagenase/Thermolysin (MTF C/T) (n=115). A standardized islet isolation and purification method was used. Islet quality assessment was carried out using islet count, viability, in vitro glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), glucose-stimulated oxygen consumption rate (ΔOCR), and in vivo transplantation model in mice.
Results: Donor characteristics were not significantly different among the three enzyme groups used in terms of age, sex, hospital stay duration, cause of death, body mass index (BMI), hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), cold ischemia time (CIT), and pancreas weight. Digestion efficacy (percentage of digested tissue by weight) was significantly higher in the Liberase MTF C/T group (73.5 ± 1.5 %) when compared to the Liberase HI group (63.6 ± 2.3 %) (p<0.001) and the Collagenase NB1/NP group (61.7 ± 2.9%) (p<0.001). The stimulation index for GSIS was significantly higher in the Liberase MTF C/T group (5.3 ± 0.5) as compared to the Liberase HI (2.9 ± 0.2) (p<0.0001) and the Collagenase NB1/NP (3.6 ± 2.9) (p=0.012) groups. Furthermore, the Liberase MTF C/T enzymes showed the highest success rate of transplantation in diabetic NOD Scid mice (65%), which was significantly higher than the Liberase HI (42%, p=0.001) and the Collagenase NB1/NP enzymes (41%, p<0.001).
Conclusions: Liberase MTF C/T is superior to Liberase HI and Collagenase NB1/NP in terms of digestion efficacy and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vitro. Moreover, Liberase MTF C/T had a significantly higher success rate of transplantation in diabetic NOD Scid mice compared to Liberase HI and Collagenase NB1/NP enzymes.