The necessity to transplant islet tissue without the need for immunosuppressant therapy has led to the development of materials for immune modulation. Pegylation makes islets antigenically silent, protecting them from the adsorption of foreign protein and thus avoiding immune injury.
The aim of this study is to determine whether pegylation of islets prolongs islet survival and function both during tissue culture and posttransplantation. We used cyanuric chloride-activated methoxy-polyethylene glycol for cell surface modification. To detect the pegylation effect on splenocytes,
we measured antibody binding inhibition and abrogation of lymphocyte proliferation. To detect the pegylation effect on islet grafts, we performed rodent islet transplantation. Islet viability and function were maintained after pegylation. Pegylated islets showed a 90% decrease in antibody
binding and decreased lymphocyte proliferation in a mixed lymphocyte culture. However, when pegylated islets were transplanted, no prolongation of graft survival was observed. When a subtherapeutic dose of immunosuppressant was given at the time of transplantation of pegylated islets, islet
graft survival was significantly prolonged. In addition, when rats were sensitized with donor splenocytes, graft survival was prolonged by pegylation. We observed that pegylation of islets, combined with a subtherapeutic dose of immunosuppressant, protects the graft from rejection. Prolonged
graft survival in sensitized recipients showed that pegylation of islets shifted the pattern of rejection from an acute humoral response to a less aggressive cellular alloresponse.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2008-10-01
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