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Cell Loss During Pseudoislet Formation Hampers Profound Improvements in Islet Lentiviral Transduction Efficacy for Transplantation Purposes

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Islet transplantation is a promising treatment in type 1 diabetes, but the need for chronic immunosuppression is a major hurdle to broad applicability. Ex vivo introduction of agents by lentiviral vectors—improving -cell resistance against immune attack—is an attractive path to pursue. The aim of this study was to investigate whether dissociation of islets to single cells prior to viral infection and reaggregation before transplantation would improve viral transduction efficacy without cytotoxicity. This procedure improved transduction efficacy with a LV-pWPT-CMV-EGFP construct from 11.2 ± 4.1% at MOI 50 in whole islets to 80.0 ± 2.8% at MOI 5. Viability (as measured by Hoechst/PI) and functionality (as measured by glucose challenge) remained high. After transplantation, the transfected pseudoislet aggregates remained EGFP positive for more than 90 days and the expression of EGFP colocalized primarily with the insulin-positive -cells. No increased vulnerability to immune attack was observed in vitro or in vivo. These data demonstrate that dispersion of islets prior to lentiviral transfection and reaggregation prior to transplantation is a highly efficient way to introduce genes of interest into islets for transplantation purposes in vitro and in vivo, but the amount of -cells needed for normalization of glycemia was more than eightfold higher when using dispersed cell aggregates versus unmanipulated islets. The high price to pay to reach stable and strong transgene expression in islet cells is certainly an important cell loss.
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Keywords: Gene therapy; Islet transplantation; Lentiviral vector; Pancreatic -cells; Pseudoislet aggregates; Type 1 diabetes

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Laboratory of Experimental Medicine and Endocrinology (LEGENDO), UZ Gasthuisberg O&N, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Leuven, Belgium 2: Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium 3: Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany 4: Institute of Clinical Biochemistry, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany, Institute of Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Rostock, Rostock, Germany

Publication date: 2007-05-01

More about this publication?
  • 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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