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Effect of Pretransplant Preconditioning by Whole Body Hyperthermia on Islet Graft Survival

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Previous observations in heat-shocked pig islets revealed the ambivalent character of the stress response simultaneously inducing processes of protection and apoptosis. To clarify whether the proapoptotic character of the stress response is reduced in heat-exposed islets still embedded in their native environment, hyperthermia was performed in the present study either as whole body hyperthermia (WBH) prior to pancreas resection or as in vitro heat shock (HS) after isolation. HS (42°C/45 min) was induced in donors 12 h before isolation (WBH, n = 32) or in freshly isolated islets prior to 12 h of culture at 37°C (in vitro HS, n = 25). Islets continuously incubated at 37°C served as controls (n = 34). Proinflammatory treatment was performed with H2O2, DETA-NO, or a combination of IL-1, TNF-α, and IFN-. Quality assessment included islet yield, viability staining, static glucose incubation, and nude mouse transplantation. WBH was significantly less effective than in vitro HS to induce HSP70 overexpression and to increase islet resistance against inflammatory mediators. Although characterized by an unaltered Bax to Bcl-2 ratio, islets subjected to WBH partially failed to restore sustained normoglycemia in diabetic nude mice. The inflammatory response observed in the pancreas of WBH-treated rats was associated with significantly reduced viability that seems to have a higher predictive value for posttransplant outcome compared to islet in vitro function or mitochondrial activity. In contrast, in vitro HS significantly decreased transcript levels of Bcl-2, but did not affect posttransplant function compared to sham-treated islets. These findings suggest that WBH is primarily associated with increased necrosis as a secondary tissue type-specific effect of pancreas damage while in vitro HS mainly induces apoptosis.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Heat shock; Inflammation; Islet isolation; Rats; Whole body hyperthermia

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Department of Oncology, Radiology & Clinical Immunology, University Hospital, 75185 Uppsala, Sweden 2: Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital Eilbeck, 22081 Hamburg, Germany 3: Third Medical Department, University Hospital, 35385 Giessen, Germany

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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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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