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Open Access Effects of Acute Cytomegalovirus Infection on Rat Islet Allograft Survival

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Transplantation of pancreatic islets is a promising therapy for the treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, long-term islet graft survival rates are still unsatisfactory low. In this study we investigated the role of cytomegalovirus (CMV) in islet allograft failure. STZ-diabetic rats received an allogenic islet graft in combination with either an acute CMV infection or control infection. A third group received ganciclovir treatment in addition to the CMV infection. Graft function was assessed by measuring basal blood glucose levels. After sacrifice, the islet grafts were retrieved for analysis of infection and leukocyte infiltration. CMV-infected recipients demonstrated accelerated islet graft failure compared to noninfected controls. CMV infection of the graft was only observed prior to complete graft failure. Quantification of the leukocyte infiltration demonstrated increased CD8+ T-cell and NK cell infiltration in the CMV-infected grafts compared to the controls. This suggests that CMV infection accelerates immune-mediated graft destruction. Antiviral ganciclovir treatment did not prevent accelerated graft failure, despite effectively decreasing the grade of infection. Our data confirm the recently published CITR data, which state that CMV is an independent risk factor for failure of islet grafts. Also, our data demonstrate that new approaches for preventing virus-induced islet allograft failure may be required.

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Keywords: CD8+; Cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection; Graft failure; Islet transplantation; NK cells; T cells

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2011-08-01

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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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