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Borg, D.J.* ; Weigelt, M.* ; Wilhelm, C.* ; Gerlach, M.* ; Bickle, M.* ; Speier, S.* ; Bonifacio, E.* ; Hommel, A.*

Mesenchymal stromal cells improve transplanted islet survival and islet function in a syngeneic mouse model.

Diabetologia 57, 522-531 (2014)
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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Islet transplantation is used therapeutically in a minority of patients with type 1 diabetes. Successful outcomes are hampered by early islet beta cell loss. The adjuvant co-transplantation of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) has the promise to improve islet transplant outcome. METHODS: We used a syngeneic marginal islet mass transplantation model in a mouse model of diabetes. Mice received islets or islets plus 250,000 MSCs. Kidney subcapsule, intra-hepatic and intra-ocular islet transplantation sites were used. Apoptosis, vascularisation, beta cell proliferation, MSC differentiation and laminin levels were determined by immunohistochemical analysis and image quantification post-transplant. RESULTS: Glucose homeostasis after the transplantation of syngeneic islets was improved by the co-transplantation of MSCs together with islets under the kidney capsule (p = 0.01) and by intravenous infusion of MSCs after intra-hepatic islet transplantation (p = 0.05). MSC co-transplantation resulted in reduced islet apoptosis, with reduced numbers of islet cells positive for cleaved caspase 3 being observed 14 days post-transplant. In kidney subcapsule, but not in intra-ocular islet transplant models, we observed increased re-vascularisation rates, but not increased blood vessel density in and around islets co-transplanted with MSCs compared with islets that were transplanted alone. Co-transplantation of MSCs did not increase beta cell proliferation, extracellular matrix protein laminin production or alpha cell numbers, and there was negligible MSC transdifferentiation into beta cells. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Co-transplantation of MSCs may lead to improved islet function and survival in the early post-transplantation period in humans receiving islet transplantation.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
Reviewing status
Institute(s) Institute for Pancreatic Beta Cell Research (IPI)
German Center for Diabetes Reseach (DZD)