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Open Access Islet Engraftment and Revascularization in Clinical and Experimental Transplantation

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Proper revascularization after transplantation is assumed to be crucial for appropriate islet graft function. We developed a novel noninvasive imaging method, based on adenoviral transduction of islets with a hypoxia responsive reporter gene, for continuous in vivo monitoring of hypoxia in islet grafts in a mouse model. In addition, morphological data were obtained from a deceased patient previously subject to intraportal transplantation. We detected only transient hypoxia in a minority of the animals transplanted. Importantly, a clear response to hypoxia was observed in vitro after removal of the islet grafts on day 28 after transplantation. Also, the morphological data from the deceased patient demonstrated an extensive revascularization of the transplanted islets. In fact, no differences could be seen between native islets, in pancreas biopsies taken prior to islet isolation, and transplanted islets regarding the number, distribution, and shape of the blood vessels. However, fewer small islets (diameter <39 µm) were found in the liver compared to those found in native pancreases. Notably, an absolute majority of the transplanted islets were found remaining within the venous lumen, in direct contact with the vessel wall. In conclusion, the results presented show less pronounced islet graft hypoxia after subcapsular transplantation than previously reported using more invasive methods. Also, formation of an extensive intraislet capillary network, similar to that seen in native islets in the pancreas, was seen after clinical islet transplantation.
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Keywords: Hypoxia; Islets; Real time; Revascularization; Transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Immunology, Genetics and Pathology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Publication date: 2013-02-01

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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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