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Transient Beneficial Effects of Exendin-4 Treatment on the Function of Microencapsulated Mouse Pancreatic Islets

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Transplantation of microencapsulated islets may reduce hyperglycemia in the absence of immunosuppression. However, the efficiency of microencapsulated islet transplantation is low, requiring more islets to achieve normoglycemia than in vascularized islet transplantation. Exendin-4 (a glucagon-like receptor agonist) has been previously shown to improve islet transplantation outcome in rodents. We investigated whether this treatment would enhance the function of microencapsulated islets in vitro and in vivo. Encapsulated or naked islets were cultured with or without exendin-4 for 72 h. To test in vitro function, insulin release and glucose oxidation rates were measured in the absence or presence of exendin-4. In addition, in vivo function of a minimal mass of 350 microencapsulated islets was assessed by syngeneic transplantation into the peritoneal cavity of alloxan-diabetic mice. Glucose oxidation rates of microencapsulated islets were improved by 72-h pretreatment with exendin-4. Insulin release was increased both acutely after glucose stimulation and over a 40-h culture period by the presence of exendin-4. Transplantation outcome of microencapsulated islets cultured with exendin-4 was initially improved, but by day 7 there were no differences compared with control cultured microencapsulated islets. Culture of microencapsulated islets with exendin-4 increases glucose oxidation and insulin release rates, but the increased function seen in vitro was not enough to improve the long term outcome in a transplantation model.
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Keywords: Alginate; Diabetes; Exendin-4; GLP-1; Islet transplantation; Microencapsulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Medical Cell Biology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden 2: Division of Reproduction and Endocrinology, King's College, London, UK

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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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.

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

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