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Open Access Immunoisolation Effect of Polyvinyl Alcohol (PVA) Macroencapsulated Islets in Type 1 Diabetes Therapy

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Islet transplantation has shown great success in the treatment of type 1 diabetes since the Edmonton protocol was established. However, it still has two major problems to overcome: the lack of organ donors and the side effects of immunosuppression. Encapsulated islets have emerged as a potential option for islet transplantation because it can, at least partly, overcome these two problems. Wistar rat islets suspended in 3% polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) hydrogel were frozen-thawed to make macroencapsulated islets (MEIs). The recovery rate, insulin content, and morphological change in culture medium with/without fresh human plasma (FHP) were measured in MEIs and free islets in vitro. In vivo, MEIs of either Wistar or Lewis rats were transplanted into the peritoneal cavity of streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic Lewis rats and nonfasting blood glucose (NFBG), body weight, and histological evaluations were processed. FHP destroyed rat free islets but did not affect the islet morphology, islet recovery rate, or insulin content of rat MEIs. The transplantation of MEIs decreased the NFBG level and prevented body weight loss without a significant difference between the donor strains. Insulin-positive islets were observed in PVA MEIs 24 weeks after allotransplantation. These results suggest that PVA MEIs may be used as a cure for type 1 diabetes.

Keywords: Islet transplantation; Macroencapsulated islets; Polyvinyl alcohol (PVA); Type 1 diabetes

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Histology and Embryology, Nankai University School of Medicine, Tianjin, China

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.
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