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Open Access Systematic Analysis of Donor and Isolation Factor’s Impact on Human Islet Yield and Size Distribution

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Islet transplantation is a promising therapy for T1DM. Key factors influencing islet yield have been identified with conflicting results. In this study, we analyzed 276 isolations to identify variables for islet yield and, additionally, islet size and size distribution. Pearson correlation analyses demonstrated that BMI had a positive correlation with pancreas size, actual islet count (AIC), and islet equivalent (IEQ)/g (all p ≤ 0.009), while CIT had a negative correlation with AIC and IEQ/g (all p ≤ 0.003). In mixed linear regression, BMI also had a positive correlation with islet size but only for shorter digestion times (≤15 min); there was no association between BMI and islet size for longer digestion times (>15 min). CIT was not associated with islet size. Donor age, sex, and preservation solutions were shown to have no correlation with islet yields or size distribution. Pancreas size had a positive correlation with AIC and a negative association with IEQ/g; it also had positive association with islet size but only for females, not males. Overdigestion was positively associated with islet counts; however, there was also a greater proportion of smaller islets when digestion rate was >74% (p = 0.005). Of the three collagenases analyzed, Sigma V had the lowest digestion rate (mean = 65%), approximately 5% or 10% lower than Roche Liberase HI (p = 0.04) and Serva NB1 (p = 0.0003), respectively; however, the Sigma V group showed better islet size preservation. Yet, the enzymes resulted in similar IEQ/g digested tissue. Of the isolated islets, 70.2% were smaller than 150 µm and contributed only 20.4% to the total IEQ, while 7.4% of the islets were larger than 250 µm but contributed 42.4% to the total IEQ. In summary, BMI, pancreas size, and CIT are useful variables for predicting islet yield, but selection of enzyme and balancing digestion time and rate are also important.
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Keywords: Actual islet count (AIC); Human islet transplantation; Islet equivalent (IEQ)/g; Islet isolation; Islet size; Pancreatic islet of Langerhans; Size distribution

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 23 December 2013

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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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