Alpco Diagnostics (Alpco) has developed two new low-sample volume ELISAs for the quantitative analysis of total proinsulin (I and II) in rats and mice. These methods were developed using synthetic rat and mouse proinsulin I and II expressed in bacteria and purified from inclusion bodies.

The company said that both the Rat Proinsulin ELISA and Mouse Proinsulin ELISA allow for the direct quantification of total proinsulin (I and II) in serum. Each kit requires only 10 microlitres of serum, giving researchers the opportunity to measure multiple analytes from a single sample collection.

The evaluation of a representative sample population of commonly used mouse and rat strains showed that > 90% of samples fell within the dynamic range of the respective assays, illustrating their utility in the field.

It was said that several factors, not the least of which being the variability in expression of proinsulin I and II between mice and rats, makes the company species-specific assay kits the attractive option for researchers expecting to quantify total proinsulin in their pre-clinical models.

Peter Wunderli, laboratory operations manager at Alpco, said: “Rat proinsulin, as for mouse, is expressed as two isoforms. No one knows whether isoform expression is individually influenced by the disease. Until that is established, there is a need to be able to measure the total proinsulin. Our kits do that with excellent specificity and robustness.”