The objective of the Islet Cell Biology Core is to provide DRC members with state of the art support including experimental design, islet isolation, and performance of and/or training in an expansive range of assays for physiological and morphometric assessment of pancreatic islet function and growth. We also enlist unique expertise of newly interested faculty to adapt existing technologies to solve unique problems that cannot be addressed by standard methodologies. For example, new ties with our Physiology Department promise an expansion of consultation and services to study membrane biophysics critical for understanding normal and diseased islet cells.
Failure of insulin secreting pancreatic beta cells characterizes the progression of all forms of diabetes. The ICBC is thus positioned to contribute in a significant manner to the basic and translational research activities of the Institute of Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism (IDOM) at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania. The ICBC has developed exceptional expertise in working with human and rodent pancreatic islet tissue, acquiring instrumentation and establishing procedures that are not readily available to the averagelaboratory.
We offer a range of services that generally begin with islet isolation from rodent animal models and may be followed by a period of culture by the core for as long as 7 days. Islet hormone secretion can be assessed in static “batch” incubations or by more informative perifusions that require larger numbers of islets and expensive immunoassays, routinely for insulin and upon request for glucagon and cAMP. The core may provide these services in an ongoing manner or it may provide critical training to allow the investigator laboratory to perform the experiments independently over time. The core also has the advanced technology and expertise to perform individual islet and single cell fluorescence imaging (Cai 2+), respirometry with islet batches using a Seahorse Extracellular Flux Analyzer, perifusion coupled with respirometry, and “closed” respirometry experiments for our investigators.
Free intracellular Ca2+ measurements using new instrumentation for state of the art fluorescence imaging (Zeiss Observer.Z1 with AxioVision softwere).
The ICBC provides training for graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and research staff in: