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Cell Surface Modification by Activated Polyethylene Glycol Prevents Allosensitization After Islet Transplantation

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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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Keywords: Immunohistochemistry; Islet transplantation; Polyethylene glycol; Sensitization

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-10-01

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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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