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Open Access Targeting Uncoupling Protein-2 Improves Islet Graft Function

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Preserving and enhancing the primary function of transplanted islets is not only crucial for improving the outcome of the islet transplantation, but is also important for reducing the islet mass required to achieve insulin independence. Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2) is a member of the uncoupling protein family, which is localized to the inner mitochondrial membrane and negatively regulates insulin secretion in the pancreatic β-cells. In this study, we assessed the importance of UCP2 in improving islet graft primary function by using UCP2 gene-knockout (UCP2-KO) mice in a syngeneic islet transplantation model. Islets were isolated from UCP2-KO or wild-type (WT) C57BL/6J mice. The effects of deficiency of UCP2 on islet transplantation and islet function were determined. Two hundred islets from UCP2-KO, but not from WT, donors were capable of completely restoring normoglycemia in 1 week in all syngeneic diabetic recipients. Islets harvested from UCP2-KO mice secreted onefold more insulin in GSIS assay than that from WT mice, and maintained normal GSIS after 72-h exposure to high glucose challenge. In addition, UCP2-KO islets expressed twohold higher Bcl-2 mRNA than that from WT islets, and were resistant to high glucose and proinflammatory cytokine induced death. Our study explored a potential mechanism that may explain the benefit of UCP2-KO islets in islet transplantation. Targeting UCP2 may provide a novel strategy to improve primary function of transplanted islets and reduce the number of islets required in transplantation.
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Keywords: Diabetes; Islets transplant; Primary function; Uncoupling protein 2 (UCP2)

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, First Affiliated Hospital, School of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China

Publication date: 2011-03-01

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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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