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Intrahepatic Islet Transplant in the Mouse: Functional and Morphological Characterization

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Although in a clinical setting islet transplantation is normally performed by percutaneous intrahepatic infusion, the kidney capsule has been the site of choice in nearly all the studies using mice. In the present study, we extensively characterized the mouse model of intraportally transplanted islets with the purpose to propose it as a model to study islet transplantation. C57BL/6 (n = 78) and BALB/C (n = 53) recipients were transplanted with 400 autologous islets alternatively through the portal vein (PV-Tx) or under the kidney capsule (KC-Tx). Glucose concentration during the first hour after syngeneic islet infusion was associated with subsequent long-term function confirming that early events have long-term effects on graft function. In both strains tested the probability to achieve islet function was significantly lower for PV-Tx than KC-Tx. Also in allogeneic models (C57BL/6 to BALB/C, n = 104; BALB/C to C57BL/6, n = 77) the probability to achieve primary function was significantly lower for PV-Tx than KC-Tx and the site of transplantation significantly affected the graft survival. Histological evaluation of livers showed the presence of features (embolism, thrombosis, focal areas of liver necrosis) that are absent in the kidney subcapsular site. Finally, significant differences in the outcome of PV-Tx were observed between the Th type 1 inflammatory-prone C57BL/6 mouse and the type 2 inflammatory-prone BALB/C mouse. Intraportal islet graft model has some features that are more similar to human clinical islet transplantation and should be used as a model to study not only engraftment but also mechanisms of immune suppression and immune tolerance.
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Keywords: Engraftment; Islet transplantation; Mouse model; Portal vein

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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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.

    Cell Transplantation is now being published by SAGE. Please visit their website for the most recent issues.

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