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Open Access In Vitro Maturation of Viable Islets From Partially Digested Young Pig Pancreas

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Isolation of islets from market-sized pigs is costly, with considerable islet losses from fragmentation occurring during isolation and tissue culture. Fetal and neonatal pigs yield insulin unresponsive islet-like cell clusters that become glucose-responsive after extended periods of time. Both issues impact clinical applicability and commercial scale-up. We have focused our efforts on a cost-effective scalable method of isolating viable insulin-responsive islets. Young Yorkshire pigs (mean age 20 days, range 4‐30 days) underwent rapid pancreatectomy (<5 min) and partial digestion using low-dose collagenase, followed by in vitro culture at 37°C and 5% CO2 for up to 14 days. Islet viability was assessed using FDA/PI or Newport Green, and function was assessed using a glucose-stimulated insulin release (GSIR) assay. Islet yield was performed using enumeration of dithizone-stained aliquots. The young porcine (YP) islet yield at dissociation was 12.6 ± 2.1 × 103 IEQ (mean ± SEM) per organ and increased to 33.3 ± 6.4 × 103 IEQ after 7 days of in vitro culture. Viability was 97.3 ± 7% at dissociation and remained over 90% viable after 11 days in tissue culture (n = ns). Glucose responsiveness increased throughout maturation in culture. The stimulation index (SI) of the islets increased from 1.7 ± 2 on culture day 3 to 2.58 ± 0.5 on culture day 7. These results suggest that this method is both efficient and scalable for isolating and maturing insulin-responsive porcine islets in culture.
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Keywords: Diabetes mellitus; Islet transplantation; Porcine islets; Xenotransplantation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Surgery, University of California Irvine, Orange, CA, USA

Publication date: 2014-03-21

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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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