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Open Access A Preexistent Hypoxic Gene Signature Predicts Impaired Islet Graft Function and Glucose Homeostasis

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We examined whether hypoxic exposure prior to the event of transplantation would have a positive or negative effect upon later islet graft function. Mouse islets exposed to hypoxic culture were transplanted into syngeneic recipients. Islet graft function, β-cell physiology, as well as molecular changes were examined. Expression of hypoxia-response genes in human islets pre- and posttransplant was examined by microarray. Hypoxia-preexposed murine islet grafts provided poor glycemic control in their syngeneic recipients, marked by persistent hyperglycemia and pronounced glucose intolerance with failed first- and second-phase glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vivo. Mechanistically, hypoxic preexposure stabilized HIF-1α with a concomitant increase in hypoxic-response genes including LDHA, and a molecular gene set, which would favor glycolysis and lactate production and impair glucose sensing. Indeed, static incubation studies showed that hypoxia-exposed islets exhibited dysregulated glucose responsiveness with elevated basal insulin secretion. Isolated human islets, prior to transplantation, express a characteristic hypoxia-response gene expression signature, including high levels of LDHA, which is maintained posttransplant. Hypoxic preexposure of an islet graft drives a HIF-dependent switch to glycolysis with subsequent poor glycemic control and loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Early intervention to reverse or prevent these hypoxia-induced metabolic gene changes may improve clinical islet transplantation.
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Keywords: Glycolysis; Hypoxia; Hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α); Islet transplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2013-11-05

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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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