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Size-Dependent Revascularization of Transplanted Pancreatic Islets

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For their survival and optimal function, pancreatic islets depend posttransplantation on a rapid and adequate revascularization. Native islets display a marked size-dependent heterogeneity in both angioarchitecture and degree of blood perfusion. This study evaluated whether there also are differences in the degree of revascularization of islets of different size when transplanted. Mouse pancreatic islets were isolated by collagenase digestion, and cultured in vitro for 4–7 days before transplantation. Groups of 200 islets with a diameter either exceeding or being below 100 m were implanted beneath the left renal capsule of syngeneic C57 BL/6 mice. One month posttransplantation, graft-bearing kidneys were removed. Histological specimens were prepared and stained for endothelium with the lectin Bandeiraea simplicifolia. Pancreata from nontransplanted control animals were prepared similarly. The vascular density in transplanted islets was markedly lower than in native islets. However, islet transplants composed of small islets (<100 m in diameter) had a vascular density in the endocrine tissue twice that in transplants of larger islets (>100 m). The connective tissue stroma surrounding smaller islets was also more revascularized than in corresponding grafts with large islets. The vascular density in the connective tissue stroma surrounding the individual islets in the grafts was markedly higher than in the endocrine parts per se. These combined observations indicate that smaller islets have a higher capacity to stimulate regrowth of blood vessels following transplantation. Further studies on islet differences with regard to revascularization capacity may teach us strategies for treatment of transplanted islets to improve their revascularization.
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Keywords: Angiogenesis; Bandeiraea simplicifolia; Engraftment; Islet graft

Document Type: Short Communication

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, Department of Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 3: Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden, Department of Medical Sciences, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2006-02-01

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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.

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

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