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Mitomycin-C Treatment Followed by Culture Produces Long-Term Survival of Islet Xenografts in a Rat-to Mouse Model

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One of the goals of islet transplantation is to transplant viable islets without host immunosuppression. The present study was designed to determine whether pretreatment of islets with mitomycin-C (MMC) followed by culture enhances islet survival in a rat-to-mouse xenogeneic combination. WS(RT1k) rat islets pretreated with various concentrations of MMC (0, 3.2, 10, 32, 100, 320, and 1000 g/ml) were tested for viability by in vitro insulin secretory capacity and vital staining of islets. The MMC-treated islets (10 g/ml) cultured for various periods (4, 20, or 40 h, 3 or 7 days) were transplanted into the renal subcapsular space of STZ-induced diabetic C57BL/6 (B6: H-2b) mice. MMC-treated or nontreated islets were subjected to microarray gene analysis and immunohistological study. Evaluation of in vitro insulin secretory capacity and vital staining of islets indicated that MMC at a dose ≤32 g/ml is nontoxic and preserves islet function. Marked prolongation of graft survival was noted with half of islet grafts surviving indefinitely (>100 days) when 10 g/ml of MMC-treated islets was transplanted after 40 h or 3 days in culture, but not when they were transplanted within 4 h following treatment or at 7 days following treatment, indicating that there is a critical culture period necessary for successful islet graft survival. Microarray analysis suggested possible genes for this prolongation with TGF- highly expressed in MMC-treated islets subjected to culture for 3 days. Our results indicate that MMC treatment followed by a critical culture period induces marked prolongation of rat islet xenograft survival in nonimmunosuppressed recipient mice, offering a strategy for islet transplantation without immunosuppression.

Keywords: Culture; Insulin secretion; Islet xenograft; Mitomycin-C

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: June 1, 2008

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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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