Islet allotransplantation has been shown to have potential as a treatment for type 1 diabetic patients. Xenotransplantation, using the pig as a donor, offers the possibility of an unlimited number of islets. This comprehensive review focuses on experience obtained in pig-to-nonhuman primate models, particularly with regard to the different types of islets (fetal, neonatal, adult) and isolation procedures used, and the methods to determine islet viability. The advantages and disadvantages of the methods to induce diabetes (pancreatectomy, streptozotocin) are discussed. Experience in pig-to-nonhuman primate islet transplantation studies is reviewed, including discussion of the possible mechanisms of rejection and the immunosuppressive regimens used. The research carried out to date has led to workable animal models to study islet xenotransplantation, but several questions regarding methodology remain unanswered, and details of these practicalities require to be adequately addressed. The encouraging porcine islet survival reported recently provides an indicator for future immunosuppressive regimens. Copyright © 2006 Cognizant Comm. Corp.