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Living Pancreatic Tissue Slices – A Versatile Tool to Study Islets in their Native Environment

Stephan Speier and Marjan Rupnik developed the pancreas slice technique over a decade ago. In 2016, we implemented this technique in our lab because it can help us elucidate how islet cells interact with other cells in pancreatic regions bordering the islet. Also, in this technique, the islets are spared the traumatic isolation that may change their physiological properties. We are studying blood vessel function and immune cell responses using pancreas slices from mice expressing functional indicators in different cell populations. The figure illustrates some of the features of working with living pancreas slices: (A-C) real time recording of cell responses inside and outside the islet, and (D-F) characterization of the responding cells using immunohistochemistry after the recording.

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