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Survival of an Islet Allograft Deficient in iNOS After Implantation Into Diabetic NOD Mice

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Proinflammatory cytokines play a major role in rejection of pancreatic islet allografts and in type 1 diabetes (T1D). In rodent islets, exposure to IL-1 alone or combined with IFN- induces expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). Inhibition of iNOS or a deletion of the iNOS gene has been shown to be protective in animal models of T1D. In the present study we tested the hypothesis that transplantation of pancreatic islets deficient in iNOS (iNOS−/−) would permit increased graft survival. Pancreatic islets isolated from wild-type (wt) mice and iNOS−/− mice were allogeneically transplanted beneath the kidney capsule of spontaneously diabetic NOD mice. When blood glucose increased above 12.0 mM after preceding normalization of hyperglycemia, animals were sacrificed. Histological examinations of grafts were performed and graft gene expression was analyzed by real-time PCR. Transplantations of the two types of islets could reverse hyperglycemia and the grafts functioned for on average 1 week posttransplantation. Morphological examination of both types of islet grafts showed immune cell infiltration around and within the grafts. Remaining endocrine cells could be observed in wt and iNOS−/− islet grafts. In the removed grafts iNOS−/− islet tissue contained higher mRNA levels of insulin, proinsulin convertases (PC-1 and PC-2), and IL-1 compared to transplanted wt islets. The assessments of insulin, PC-1 and PC-2 mRNAs of the grafts suggest that the iNOS−/− islets may be more resistant to destruction in the transplantation model used; however, this was not sufficient to prolong the period of normoglycemia posttransplantation.
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Keywords: Cytokines; Islets; NOD mice; iNOS

Document Type: Research Article

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

Publication date: 2006-08-01

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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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