Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2008 Mar;93(3):1046-53. Epub 2007 Dec 11.

Gene expression of purified beta-cell tissue obtained from human pancreas with laser capture microdissection.

Author information

Section on Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology, Joslin Diabetes Center, One Joslin Place, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.



Human beta-cell gene profiling is a powerful tool for understanding beta-cell biology in normal and pathological conditions. Assessment is complicated when isolated islets are studied because of contamination by non-beta-cells and the trauma of the isolation procedure.


The objective was to use laser capture microdissection (LCM) of human beta-cells from pancreases of cadaver donors and compare their gene expression with that of handpicked isolated islets.


Endogenous autofluorescence of beta-cells facilitated procurement of purified beta-cell tissue from frozen pancreatic sections with LCM. Gene expression profiles of three microdissected beta-cell samples and three isolated islet preparations were obtained. The array data were normalized using DNA-Chip Analyzer software (Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA), and the lower confidence bound evaluated differentially expressed genes. Real-time PCR was performed on selected acinar genes and on the duct cell markers, carbonic anhydrase II and keratin 19.


Endogenous autofluorescence facilitates the microdissection of beta-cell rich tissue in human pancreas. When compared with array profiles of purified beta-cell tissue, with lower confidence bound set at 1.2, there were 4560 genes up-regulated and 1226 genes down-regulated in the isolated islets. Among the genes up-regulated in isolated islets were pancreatic acinar and duct genes, chemokine genes, and genes associated with hypoxia, apoptosis, and stress. Quantitative RT-PCR confirmed the differential expression of acinar gene transcripts and the duct marker carbonic anhydrase II in isolated islets.


LCM makes it possible to obtain beta-cell enriched tissue from human pancreas sections without the trauma and ischemia of islet isolation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center