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Oxygen Tension and Blood Flow in Relation to Revascularization in Transplanted Adult and Fetal Rat Pancreatic Islets

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We have previously recorded a decreased oxygen tension and blood flow in syngeneically transplanted rat pancreatic islets. The present study related measurements of oxygen tension and blood flow to the vascular density in such grafts implanted beneath the renal capsule. We also evaluated whether transplanted fetal islets are better revascularized than adult islets, and if the degree of revascularization is directly related to the islet vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) production. Tissue pO2 was measured using Clark microelectrodes, whereas islet graft blood flow was measured with laser-Doppler flowmetry. The vascular density of endogenous and transplanted islets was quantified in histological specimens stained with the lectin Bandeiraea simplicifolia (BS-1). Tissue pO2 in the transplanted adult and fetal islet grafts was similar and markedly lower than in the endogenous islets. The blood perfusion of both the adult and fetal islet grafts was 60–65% of that in the renal cortex. Administration of D-glucose did not affect tissue pO2 in either the endogenous or transplanted islets, nor graft blood perfusion. The number of capillaries found in the transplanted adult and fetal islets was similar and markedly lower than in endogenous islets. However, in the connective tissue stroma, which constituted ∼20% of all islet grafts, the vascular density was higher than in the corresponding endocrine parts of these grafts. Incubated adult islets released higher amounts of VEGF than fetal islets. In conclusion, the previously described low oxygen tension of syngeneically transplanted adult rat islets is related to a low vascular density. Similar low oxygen tension and vascular density are seen in grafted fetal islets. The amount of VEGF production does not correlate to the degree of revascularization of the grafts.

Keywords: Key words: Angiogenesis; Cell transplantation; Exp

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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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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