Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Efficient islet isolation depends on the use of collagenase to digest the extracellular matrix within the islet-exocrine interface, the molecular structure of which is poorly understood. Recently it has been reported that transplantable yields of islets can be isolated from the tail segment of the pancreas alone. This study aimed to quantify and compare the amount of collagenase-resistant collagen VI within the islet-exocrine interface of the head, body, and tail of the human pancreas. Human adult pancreata (n = 5) were retrieved from heart-beating donors (age range, 40-62 years; cold ischemia times <10 hours). Tissue blocks from the head, body, and tail region of each pancreas were fixed in formalin and processed for immuno-labelling of collagen VI, which was quantified in the islet-exocrine interface using a Zeiss KS-400 image analysis system. Data were expressed as area of collagen at the interface relative to the islet area. Statistical analysis was done using paired t test. The mean islet areas in the head, body, and tail regions were not significantly different. Collagen VI was uniformly present within the islet-exocrine interface of all regions of the pancreas and was 0.326 +/- 0.064, 0.324 +/- 0.060, and 0.334 +/- 0.052 microm(2)/islet area (P = .441) in the head, body, and tail, respectively. The content of collagen VI within the islet-exocrine interface was uniform throughout all parts of the adult pancreas. Targeting this collagen subtype with novel collagenase blends may result in consistently improved islet yields and enable a wider number of available donor pancreata to be used.

Original publication




Journal article


Transplant Proc

Publication Date





3444 - 3445


Adult, Brain Death, Collagen Type IV, Humans, Islets of Langerhans, Middle Aged, Pancreas, Tissue and Organ Harvesting