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Exendin-4 Treatment Expands Graft -Cell Mass in Diabetic Mice Transplanted With a Marginal Number of Fresh Islets

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Exendin-4 stimulates insulin secretion, suppresses glucagons secretion, increases -cell replication and neogenesis, and reduces -cell apoptosis. However, it has been shown that posttransplant exendin-4 treatment did not improve glucose homeostasis in diabetic mice transplanted with a large number of freshly isolated islets. The aim of this study was to test if exendin-4 is beneficial for hyperglycemic recipients with a marginal number of fresh islets. We transplanted 150 C57BL/6 mouse islets under the kidney capsule of inbred streptozotocin-diabetic mice, and then treated the recipients with and without exendin-4 for 6 weeks. Before and after transplantation, recipients' blood glucose, body weight, and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test were measured. At 6 weeks, the grafts were removed to determine -cell mass. Blood glucose levels in both groups decreased progressively after transplantation, and the exendin-4-treated group had had lower blood glucose than controls since day 3. By 6 weeks, euglycemia was achieved more in mice treated with exendin-4 than in controls (100% vs. 62.5%, p = 0.018). The time to obtain normoglycemia was shorter in the exendin-4-treated group than in controls (12 ± 8 vs. 29 ± 13 days, p < 0.001). Blood glucose at 6 weeks was 123 ± 18 and 170 ± 62 mg/dl in the exendin-4-treated group and controls, respectively (p = 0.008). Additionally, the exendin-4-treated group had better glucose tolerance than controls at 2 and 4 weeks (p < 0.02). However, both groups exhibited increased body weight over time, and weight changes did not significantly differ between the two groups throughout the study period. At 6 weeks after transplantation, grafts in the exendin-4-treated group were more prominent and contained more insulin-stained cells than those of controls. They had 2.3-fold -cell mass of the graft compared with controls (0.30 ± 0.11 vs. 0.13 ± 0.03 mg, p = 0.012). These results indicate posttransplant exendin-4 treatment in the diabetic recipient with a marginal number of fresh islets expands graft -cell mass and improves transplantation outcome.

Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Exendin-4; Islet transplantation; -Cell mass

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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