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Open Access Lack of Evidence for Recipient Precursor Cells Replenishing β-Cells in Transplanted Islets

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Bone marrow and tissue precursor cells have been postulated to replenish grafts of transplanted islets. Several investigators have reported that bone marrow cells can promote the regeneration of injured islets. In this study, we investigated the potential of recipient-derived precursor cells to form new pancreatic endocrine cells in islet grafts transplanted under the kidney capsule. Mouse insulin promoter (MIP)-green fluorescence protein (GFP) mice, which express GFP only in β-cells, or β-actin GFP mice, which express GFP ubiquitously, were used to determine if the recipient-derived cells differentiate into β-cells or other types of endocrine cells. We transplanted MIP-GFP islets into wild-type mice, wild-type islets into MIP-GFP mice, β-actin GFP islets into wild-type mice, and wild-type islets into β-actin GFP mice. β-Actin GFP bone marrow cells were then injected into wild-type mice to evaluate the potential role of bone marrow stem cells to provide new islet cells to the graft. No β-cells with green fluorescence were seen in the graft when wild-type islets were transplanted into MIP-GFP mice. When wild-type islets were transplanted into β-actin GFP mice, no β-cells with GFP staining could be identified in the grafts. Similarly, no endocrine cells with GFP staining could be identified in the grafts after injection of β-actin GFP bone marrow cells into wild-type islet-transplanted wild-type mice. This study provides further support for the concept that recipient precursor cells do not produce new β-cells in grafts of transplanted islets.

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Keywords: Bone marrow; Islet precursor cell; Islet transplantation; Regeneration; Stem cell

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Section on Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology, Research Division, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, MA, USA

Publication date: 01 December 2010

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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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