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Open Access The Sequential Combination of a JNK Inhibitor and Simvastatin Protects Porcine Islets From Peritransplant Apoptosis and Inflammation

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Intraductal administration of a c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor enhances islet viability. However, its role in reducing the inflammatory response in islets is unknown. It is also unknown whether a JNK inhibitor could act in synergy with statins. We examined if the sequential combination of a JNK inhibitor and simvastatin would reduce islet inflammation and improve islet viability. We performed porcine islet isolation with or without intraductal administration of SP600125, a JNK inhibitor. This was followed by culture medium supplementation with either nicotinamide alone or nicotinamide plus simvastatin. We assessed the viability of islets by flow cytometry, islet loss during overnight culture, graft function in NOD/SCID mice, and expression of inflammation-related genes in islets. The sequential combination of a JNK inhibitor and simvastatin increased the β-cell viability index of porcine islets cultured overnight (p = 0.015) as well as islet viability as assessed by a DNA binding dye staining (p = 0.011). The combination of a JNK inhibitor and simvastatin significantly increased the islet survival rate (p = 0.027) when the histomorphometry of donor pancreas indicated a large islet proportion of greater than 50.55%. When we transplanted the same islet mass per recipient for each group, there was no difference in overall islet graft function. Intraductal administration of JNK inhibitor significantly suppressed mRNA expression levels of interleukin-1β (IL-1β), interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-6, IL-8, and macrophage chemoattractant protein-1. It also decreased the concentration of IL-1β (p = 0.040) and IL-8 (p = 0.023) in the culture supernatant. In conclusion, the sequential combination of a JNK inhibitor and simvastatin protected porcine islets from peritransplant apoptosis. Inhibition of JNK reduced the inflammatory response and could be considered an alternative target for suppression of porcine islet inflammation.
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Keywords: Apoptosis; Inflammation; Islet; Porcine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Xenotransplantation Research Center, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Publication date: 2011-07-01

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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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