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Insulin Treatment of Mice Recipients Preserves β-Cell Function in Porcine Islet Transplantation

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Encapsulation of islets of Langerhans confers protection against cell-mediated immune destruction and so should allow the transplantation of islets without immunosuppression. Xenotransplantation of encapsulated islets of Langerhans might therefore help overcome problems of human organ donor shortage. Given that islets exposed to sustained hyperglycemia show impaired β-cell function, we set out to determine whether recipient treatment with insulin could improve transplantation success rate. Islets of Langerhans were obtained from Specific Germ-Free (SPF) pig pancreas and cultured overnight. Islets were encapsulated in AN69 fibers and implanted into the peritoneal cavity of diabetic mice. A group of implanted mice was treated with exogenous insulin from day 3 to day 7 after grafting. Islet implantation depressed plasma glucose in all the mice, both insulin treated and untreated. Glycemia slowly increased in the non-insulin-treated mice, whereas the decrease observed in the insulin-treated mice was maintained until day 29 of follow-up. We found significant differences between the two groups (p < 0.05 at day 18 and day 20, p < 0.001 at day 23 and day 29). No improvement of hyperglycemia was observed in diabetic mice implanted with empty fibers. When islet-containing fibers were removed from the peritoneal cavity of mice 1 month after the graft plasma glucose increased markedly. We demonstrate that treatment of recipients with exogenous insulin in the immediate posttransplantation period has a positive effect on β-cell function in transplanted macroencapsulated porcine islets.
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Keywords: Key words: Porcine islet of Langerhans; Xenotransp

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: *INSERM U 341, Diabetes Department, Hôtel-Dieu Hospital, France 2: †Bioengineering Laboratory, Saint-Antoine Hospital, France 3: ‡Zoopole Development, Ploufragan, France 4: §CNEVA, Ploufragan, France

Publication date: 01 January 2002

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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