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Open Access The Impact of Potential Islet Precursor Cells on Islet Autotransplantation Outcomes

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Islet autotransplant patients represent excellent subjects to assess the posttransplant impact of islet precursors, as chronic pancreatitis (CP) causes an elevation of ductal cells, pancreatic precursors cells, and hormone-positive acinar cells. The relationship between these cell types and autograft outcomes should be more apparent than would be the case in the context of an allograft program with confounding immunological variables. To improve diabetic control following total pancreatectomy for CP, nonpurified islets were autotransplanted into the liver. Pancreas specimens were recovered from 23 patients and stained for antigens including: insulin, glucagon, cytokeratin 19, cytokeratin 7, and PDX-1. In line with previous reports, the prevalence of ductal cells, non-islet endocrine cells and non-islet PDX-1-expressing cells was significantly higher in CP glands compared with normal pancreata. When correlating follow-up data (i.e., fasting and stimulated C-peptide/glucose levels and HbA1c%) with pancreas immunoreactivity, high levels of ductal cells, non-islet PDX-1-positive cells, and non-islet glucagon-positive cells were associated with superior outcomes, detectable up to 2 years posttransplant. To conclude, the acinar parenchyma and ductal epithelium of the CP pancreas show an upregulation of both endocrine and pre-endocrine cell types, which appear to have a positive effect on islet graft outcomes in autotransplantation setting.

Keywords: Chronic pancreatitis (CP); Ductal cells; Glucagon; Islet autotransplantation; Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (PDX-1)

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Hepatobiliary Surgery, University Hospitals of Leicester, NHS Trust, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK

Publication date: 2013-06-01

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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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