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Open Access Collagenase Does Not Persist in Human Islets Following Isolation

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Optimal human islet isolation requires the delivery of bacterial collagenase to the pancreatic islet‐exocrine interface. However, we have previously demonstrated the presence of collagenase within human islets immediately following intraductal collagenase administration. This potentially has significant implications for patient safety. The present study aimed to determine if collagenase becomes internalized into islets during the isolation procedure and if it remains within the islet postisolation. Islet samples were taken at various stages throughout 14 clinical human islet isolations: during digest collection, following University of Wisconsin solution incubation, immediately postisolation, and after 24 h of culture. Samples were embedded in agar, cryosectioned, and then assessed by immunolabeling for collagenase and insulin. Immunoreactivity for collagenase was not observed in isolated islets in any preparation. Collagenase labeling was detected in one sample taken at the digest collection phase in one islet preparation only. No collagenase-specific labeling was seen in islets sampled at any of the other time points in any of the 14 islet preparations. Collagenase that enters islets during intraductal administration is washed out of the islets during the collection phase of the isolation process and thus does not remain in islets after isolation. This observation alleviates some of the important safety concerns that collagenase remains within islet grafts.

Keywords: Collagenase; Islet isolation; Islet transplantation

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2012

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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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