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Combination Therapy With Glucagon-Like Peptide-1 and Gastrin Induces -Cell Neogenesis From Pancreatic Duct Cells in Human Islets Transplanted in Immunodeficient Diabetic Mice

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Pancreatic islet transplantation as a treatment for type 1 diabetes is limited by human donor tissue availability. We investigated whether the -cell mass in human isolated islets could be expanded by treatments with glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and gastrin, peptides reported to stimulate -cell growth in mice and rats with deficits in -cell mass. Human islets with low endocrine cell purity (7% -cells, 4% α-cells) and abundant exocrine cells (29% duct cells and 25% acinar cells) were implanted under the renal capsule of nonobese diabetic-severe combined immune deficiency (NOD-scid) mice made diabetic with streptozotocin. The mice were treated with GLP-1 and gastrin, separately and together, daily for 5 weeks. Blood glucose was significantly reduced only in mice implanted with human pancreatic cells and treated with GLP-1 plus gastrin. Correction of hyperglycemia was accompanied by increased insulin content in the human pancreatic cell grafts as well as by increased plasma levels of human C-peptide in the mice. Immunocytochemical examination revealed a fourfold increase in insulin-positive cells in the human pancreatic cell grafts in GLP-1 plus gastrin-treated mice, and most of this increase was accounted for by the appearance of cytokeratin 19-positive pancreatic duct cells expressing insulin. We conclude that combination therapy with GLP-1 and gastrin expands the -cell mass in human islets implanted in immunodeficient diabetic mice, largely from pancreatic duct cells associated with the islets, and this is sufficient to ameliorate hyperglycemia in the mice.

Keywords: Diabetes; GLP-1; Gastrin; Islet transplantation

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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