Delayed and insufficient revascularization during islet transplantation deprives islets of oxygen and nutrients, resulting in graft failure. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) could play a critical role in islet revascularization. We aimed to develop pharmacological strategies
for VEGF overexpression in pancreatic islets using the iron chelator deferoxamine (DFO), thus avoiding obstacles or safety risks associated with gene therapy. Rat pancreatic islets were infected in vivo using an adenovirus (ADE) encoding human VEGF gene (4.108 pfu/pancreas) or were
incubated in the presence of DFO (10 μmol/L). In vitro viability, functionality, and the secretion of VEGF were evaluated in islets 1 and 3 days after treatment. Infected islets or islets incubated with DFO were transplanted into the liver of syngenic diabetic rats and the graft efficiency
was estimated in vivo by measuring body weight, glycemia, C-peptide secretion, and animal survival over a period of 2 months. DFO induced transient VEGF overexpression over 3 days, whereas infection with ADE resulted in prolonged VEGF overexpression lasting 14 days; however, this was toxic
and decreased islet viability and functionality. The in vivo study showed a decrease in rat deaths after the transplantation of islets treated with DFO or ADE compared with the sham and control group. ADE treatment improved body weight and C-peptide levels. Gene therapy and DFO improved metabolic
control in diabetic rats after transplantation, but this effect was limited in the presence of DFO. The pharmacological approach is an interesting strategy for improving graft efficiency during transplantation, but this approach needs to be improved with drugs that are more specific.
No Supplementary Data.
Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α);
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)
Document Type: Research Article
Centre européen d’étude du Diabète, Strasbourg, France
Publication date: 2011-09-01
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