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β-Cell replacement therapy by either whole-organ pancreas or islets of Langerhans transplantation can restore carbohydrate control to diabetic patients and reduces complications associated with the disease. One of the variables inherent in islet transplantation is the isolation
of functional islets from donor pancreata. Islet isolations fail to consistently produce good-quality functional islets. A rapid pretransplant assay to determine posttransplant function of islets would be an invaluable tool. We have tested the novel hypothesis that modified oxygen consumption
rates (OCR), standardized to DNA quantity (nmol/min-mg DNA), would serve as a pretransplant assessment of the metabolic potency of the islets postisolation. This study compares the ability of current in vitro assays to predict in vivo restoration of normoglycemia in a diabetic nude mouse posttransplantation
of adult pig islets. There is known to be a diversity of islet sizes within each preparation. This parameter has not heretofore been effectively considered a critical factor in islet engraftment. Our results suggest a surprising finding that islet size influences the probability of restoring
carbohydrate control. Based on this observation, we thus developed a novel predictor of islet graft function that combines the effects of both islet OCR and size. When OCR was divided by the islet index (size), a highly significant predictor of graft function was established (p = 0.0002,
n = 75). Furthermore, when OCR/islet index values exceeded 70.0 nmol/min-mg DNA/islet index, an effective threshold of diabetes reversal was observed. This assay can be performed with as few as 1,000 islet equivalents (IEQ) and conducted in less than 60 min. Our data suggest that, using
this novel method to assess islet cell function prior to transplantation, OCR/islet index thresholds provide a valuable tool in identifying which islet preparations are most likely to restore glycemic control posttransplant.
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.