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Intrasplenic Transplantation of Encapsulated Genetically Engineered Mouse Insulinoma Cells Reverses Streptozotocin-Induced Diabetes in Rats

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Pancreatic islet transplantation is limited by shortage of donor organs. Although -cell lines could be used, their secretion of insulin is characteristically glucose independent and immunoisolation is required. Here we show that intrasplenic transplantation of encapsulated glucose-responsive mouse insulinoma cells reversed streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes in rats. MIN-6 cells derived from a transgenic mouse expressing SV 40 large T antigen in pancreatic -cells were transfected with minigene encoding for human glucagon-like-peptide-1 under the control of rat insulin promoter. The cells were encapsulated in alginate/poly-L-lysine and used for cell transplantation in STZ-diabetic rats. Rats with nonfasting blood glucose (n-FBG) greater than 350 mg/dl were used. In group I rats (n = 6) 20 million encapsulated cells were injected into the spleen. Group II rats (n = 6) received empty capsules. n-FBG was measured biweekly. After 4 and 8 weeks, an intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test (IPGTT) was performed in group I; normal rats served as controls. Plasma insulin level was measured every other week (RIA). After 8 weeks, spleens were removed 1 day before sacrifice. In rats transplanted with cells the n-FBG was 100–150 mg/dl until the end of the study. After splenectomy, all cell recipients became diabetic (glucose 400 ± 20 mg/dl). Transplanted rats showed increase in body weight and insulin production (3.3 ± 1.0 ng/ml versus 0.92 ± 0.3 ng/ml; p < 0.01) and had normal IPGTT. Spleens contained capsules with insulin-positive cells. Overall, data from this work indicate that intrasplenic transplantation of xenogeneic encapsulated insulin-producing cells without immunosuppression reversed diabetes in rats. Excellent survival and function of the transplanted cells was due to the fact that the cells were separated from the bloodstream by the immunoisolatory membrane only and insulin was delivered directly to the liver (i.e., in a physiological manner).

Keywords: Diabetes; Encapsulation; Insulin; Insulinoma cells; Pancreatic islets; Streptozotocin; Transplantation technique

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Surgical Research, Department of Surgery, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA 2: Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA

Publication date: 2005-06-01

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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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