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Viral IL-10 Gene Transfer Prolongs Rat Islet Allograft Survival

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Islet transplantation is a potential cure for diabetes. However, allotransplant rejection severely limits its clinical application. In this study, we sought to transfect rat islets with an adenoviral vector containing the viral IL-10 (vIL-10) gene and examine its efficacy in preventing graft rejection. The immunosuppressive effect of vIL-10 is reported but its efficacy is somehow debatable in transplantation model. vIL-10 transfected islets were transplanted into streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Blood glucose, serum vIL-10 concentration, graft histology, and graft cytokine expression were used to monitor graft function up to day 21 after transplantation. Transfected islets released a large amount of vIL-10 protein without affecting their viability and functional integrity. When we transplanted the transfected islets into allogeneic hosts, the survival of grafted islets was not significantly increased. However, the combined use of vIL-10 and subtherapeutic doses of CsA (cyclosporine) significantly prolonged graft survival beyond that achieved with either agent alone (p < 0.001). vIL-10 and CsA-treated rats contain high level of vIL-10 in serum, which is evidenced by the inhibition of allogeneic mixed lymphocyte reaction (MLR). Histological analysis additionally revealed the presence of viable islets up to 21 days. IL-10 mRNA expression in grafted liver was higher and IFN- mRNA was lower in vIL-10 and CsA-treated animals, compared with other groups. The synergistic effect of this combination therapy is potentially correlated with the induction of inhibitory cytokine secretion and downregulation of proinflammatory cytokine secretion from host cells.

Keywords: Adenovirus; Graft survival; Immunosuppression; Islets; Viral IL-10

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2008-06-01

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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.
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