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Open Access Improvement of Porcine Islet Isolation by Inhibition of Trypsin Activity During Pancreas Preservation and Digestion Using α1-Antitrypsin

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Porcine islets are considered to be a promising resource for xenotransplantation. However, it is difficult to isolate porcine islets because of the marked fragility and rapid dissociation. Endogenous trypsin is one of the main factors to damage islets during the isolation procedure. Recent studies have suggested that trypsin inhibitors during the preservation of pancreas or the collagenase digestion can improve the result of islet isolation. In this study, we examined whether α1-antitrypsin (AralastTM), which inhibits several endogenous proteases and has immunomodulatory properties, can protect islets from the proteases and improve the results of porcine islet isolation. Twelve porcine pancreata were divided into three groups: without Aralast group (standard, n = 5), preserved with Aralast using the ductal injection (DI) method (DI, n = 3), and with Aralast using the DI method and in the collagenase solution (DI+C, n = 4). Efficacy of islet isolation was assessed by islet yields, purity, and viability. The trypsin activity of the preservation and the digestion solution during the isolation procedure was measured. During islet isolation, the trypsin activity in DI+C group was significantly inhibited compared to the standard group, whereas DI group showed less effect than DI+C group. The average of postpurification islet equivalents (IEQ) per pancreas weight in the DI+C group was significantly higher than the standard group (standard: 3516 ± 497 IEQ/g, DI: 4607 ± 1090 IEQ/g, DI+C: 7097 ± 995 IEQ/g; p = 0.017 between standard and DI+C). In the DI+C group, stimulation index was higher than in other groups, although there was no significant difference. The presence of Aralast in both DI solution and collagenase solution markedly inhibited trypsin activity during pancreas digestion procedure and improved the porcine islet isolation. Inhibition of trypsin activity by Aralast could improve porcine islet isolation.

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Keywords: Islet transplantation; Porcine islets; Trypsin inhibitor; Xenotransplantation; α1-Antitrypsin

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA

Publication date: 2012-02-01

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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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