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C-Peptide Determinations in Islet Xenotransplantation: A Study in the Pig-to-Mouse Model

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Assays of C-peptide are used to monitor allogeneic islet graft function. However, it is not known whether xenogeneic C-peptide is metabolized and excreted in a fashion similar to endogenous and allogeneic C-peptide. In this study, injection of 10 times the physiological amount of porcine C-peptide into mice did not result in the excretion of the C-peptide in the urine. In contrast, when a physiological amount of porcine C-peptide was injected into athymic mice, urinary excretion of porcine C-peptide was readily detected. After injection of radioactively labeled porcine C-peptide into mice, the radioactive uptake in tissues belonging to the mononuclear phagocytic system was significantly increased in mice immunized towards the xenogeneic C-peptide. These results may reflect an immunological reactivity towards the C-peptide. Antibodies against porcine C-peptide could not be detected in the serum of any of the mice. However, porcine C-peptide was found to be glycosylated. Thus, a possible explanation to the lack of porcine C-peptide in the urine is that xenoreactive antibodies had bound to carbohydrate structures on the peptide and that the antibody–C-peptide complex had been cleared from the circulation by the mononuclear phagocytic system. Thus, the urinary excretion of xenogeneic C-peptide seems to be different from that of endogenous and allogeneic C-peptide. Consequently, determinations of donor-specific C-peptide may not properly reflect islet xenograft function. In fact, islet xenograft function may be underestimated.

Keywords: C-peptide;; Islets; Key words: Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: *Department of Transplantation Surgery, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge Hospital, Huddinge, Sweden 2: †Department of Clinical Immunology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: February 1, 2001

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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