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Open Access Molecularly Engineered Islet Cell Clusters for Diabetes Mellitus Treatment

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Pancreatic islet transplantation is a promising method for curing diabetes mellitus. We proposed in this study a molecularly engineered islet cell clusters (ICCs) that could overcome problems posed by islet transplantation circumstances and host's immune reactions. A gene containing highly releasable exendin-4, an insulinotropic protein, was delivered into single islet cells to enhance glucose sensitivity; thereafter, the cells were reaggregated into small size ICCs. Then the surface of ICCs was modified with biocompatible poly(ethylene glycol)-lipid (PEG) (C18) for preventing immune reactions. The regimen of ICCs with low doses of anti-CD154 mAb and tacrolimus could effectively maintain the normal glucose level in diabetic mice. This molecularly engineered PEG-Sp-Ex-4 ICC regimen prevented cell death in transplantation site, partly through improving the regulation of glucose metabolism and by preventing hypoxia- and immune response-induced apoptosis. Application of this remedy is also potentially far-reaching; one would be to help overcome islet supply shortage due to the limited availability of pancreas donors and reduce the immunosuppressant regimens to eliminate their adverse effects.

Keywords: Exendin-4; Islet cell clusters (ICCs); Polyethylene glycol; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: August 1, 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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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