Improving the function of islet and beta-cell grafts

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
Paget, Michelle B.
  • Subject:
    mesheuropmc: endocrine system diseases

Background: Human islet transplantation would offer a less invasive and more physiological alternative than whole pancreas transplantation and insulin injections respectively for the treatment of diabetes mellitus if islet graft survival can be improved. Initial recipient post-transplant insulin independence declines to <10% after 5 years. Factors contributing to graft failure include enzymatic disruption of the islet microenvironment during isolation, diabetogenic effects of immunosuppressants and metabolic stress resulting from slow revascularisation. Aims: To investigate the effect of co-culture in both static (SC) and rotational culture (RC) of BRINBDII beta-cells (Dl1) and human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC) on Dl1 insulin secretion; and the effect of a thiazolidinedione (TZD) on DII function and HUVEC proliferation. To assess the effect of culture media, SC, RC and a TZD on human islet morphology, insulin secretion and VEGF production. To initiate in vivo protocol development for assessment of revascularisation of human islet grafts. Methods: D11 cells were cultured +/-TZD and co-cultured with HUVEC +/-TZD in SC and RC. Dl1 insulin secretion was induced by static incubation with low glucose (1.67mM), high glucose (l6.7mM: and high glucose with 10mM theophylline (G+T) and determined by ELISA. HUVEC were cultured +/-TZD in SC and RC and proliferation was assessed by ATP luminescence assay and VEGF ELISA. D II and HUVEC morphology was determined by immunocytochemistry. Human islets were cultured in SC and RC in various media +/-TZD. Insulin secretion was determined as above and VEGF production by fluorescence immunocytochemistry (FI) and ELISA. Revascularisation of islet grafts was assessed by vascular corrosion cast and FI. Results: Dll cultures showed significantly increased insulin secretion in response to 16.7mM and G+T over basal; this was enhanced by RC and further improved by adding 10mM TZD. Untreated Dll/HUVEC co-cultures displayed significantly increased insulin secretion in response to 16.7mM and G+T over basal, again enhanced by RC and improved with 10mM TZD. 10mM TZD significantly increased HUVEC proliferation over control. Human islets maintained in medium 199 (mI99) in SC and RC exhibited comparable maintenance of morphology and insulin secretory profiles compared to islets maintained in RPMI, endothelial growth media and dedicated islet medium Miami# I. All cultures showed significantly increased insulin secretion in response to 16.7mM and G+T over basal; this was enhanced by RC and in certain instances further improved by adding 25mM TZD. TZD increased VEGF production and release as determined by ELISA. Post-implant vascular corrosion casts of mouse kidneys analysed by x-ray micro tomography indicates a possible TZD enhancement of microvessel growth via VEGF upregulation. Conclusions: D II /HUVEC co-culture in SC or RC does not alter the morphology of either cell type and supports D 11 function. TZD improves 0 I I and D I I/HUVEC SC and RC co-culture insulin secretion while increasing HUVEC proliferation. Human islet RC supports islet functional viability and structural integrity compared to SC while the addition of TZD occasionally further improves secretagogue induced insulin secretion. Expensive, 'dedicated' islet media showed no advantage over ml99 in terms of maintaining islet morphology or function. TZD upregulates VEGF in islets as shown by ELISA and suggested by x-ray micro tomography analysis of vascular corrosion casts. Maintenance of islets in RC and treatment with TZD prior to transplant may improve the functional viability and revascularisation rate of islet grafts.
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