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Abstracts 6th International Congress of the Cell Transplant Society

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Teru Okitsu,1 Naoya Kobayashi,1 Hee-Sook Jun,2 Seungjin Shin,2 Su-Jin Kim,2 Jaeseok Han,2 Toshinori Totsugawa,1 Karen Westerman,3 Noriaki Tanaka,1 Philippe Leboulch,3 and Ji-Won Yoon2

1Department of Surgery, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine and Dentistry, Okayama, Japan; 2Laboratory of Viral and Immunopathogenesis of Diabetes, The University of Calgary, Canada; 3Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Purpose: The expansion of the source for cell therapies to treat insulin-dependent diabetic patients is required to overcome the worldwide shortage of donor pancreata for islet transplantation. Toward this goal, we genetically modified human hepatocytes to secrete insulin in responding glucose levels.

Methods: First, human hepatocytes were reversibly immortalized using a retroviral gene transfer of human telomerase and Cre/loxP-mediated Cre/loxP recombination. Then, a plasmid expressing insulin under a hepatocyte-specific promoter was introduced into the cell line. A cell line was established and analyzed in the present study. Glucose-sensitive insulin secretion was examined at RNA and protein levels. The effect of in vivo transplantation was evaluated in a mouse model of diabetes induced by streptozocin (STZ).

Results: Expression and secretion of insulin was increased in the cell line when it was exposed to high glucose culture condition. Transplantation of the cell line into the subrenal capsule normalized blood glucose levels in STZ-treated diabetic mice, in contrast control diabetic mice showed continuous high levels of blood glucose. Interestingly, cell transplantation into normal nondiabetic mice did not induce hypoglycemia.

Conclusion: We have established a glucose-sensitive insulin-producing human hepatocyte cell line. The cell line would be a useful tool for diabetes-targeted cell therapies, such as cellular transplantation and bioartificial pancreata.

Document Type: Abstract


Publication date: January 1, 2003

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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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