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Open Access Antiapoptotic Effect of Tacrolimus on Cytokine-Challenged Human Islets

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Our goal was to investigate whether previously related antiapoptotic and anti-inflammatory effects of tacrolimus could be useful in protecting human islets cultured in the presence of several proinflammatory mediators. Human islets obtained from cadaveric donors after intraductal infusion with collagenase, mechanical digestion, and continuous Ficoll gradient purification were cultured in RPMI-1640 medium for 24 h. Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharide (10 g/ml) or interleukin-1 (50 UI/ml) + -IF (1000 UI/ml) and low-dose tacroliumus (5 ng/ml) were added. Homogenized samples (300 IE) from five different donors where assigned to four different experimental groups (control, treatment, cytokines, and cytokines + treatment). To evaluate islet damage and apoptotic response, nucleosome content, Bcl-2 protein levels, caspase-3, -8, and -9 levels, and insulin concentration were measured. Also, TNF-α and IL-6 levels where assessed as indicators of the inflammatory response. All proapoptotic markers, TNF-α, and IL-6 levels were augmented after both LPS and cytokine stimulation. Tacrolimus reduced significantly all of them and restored baseline values of nucleosome and caspase-9 in both experiments and Bcl-2 and caspase-3 when IL-1 + -IF was added. Twenty-four-hour insulin concentration diminished when LPS or IL-1 + -IF were present. Tacrolimus treatment restored insulin levels in both experiments. These results suggest that in vitro apoptotic events and media insulin concentration decrease after proinflammatory stimulation can be reverted using low-dose tacrolimus.

Keywords: Apoptosis; Immunosuppression; Islet transplantation; Tacrolimus

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Surgery, Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain

Publication date: 2009-10-01

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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.
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