Auxiliary Cells for the Vascularization and Function of Endogenous and Transplanted Islets of Langerhans
- Datum: 26 september, kl. 10.15
- Plats: C2:301, BMC, Husargatan 3, Uppsala
- Doktorand: Grapensparr, Liza
- Om avhandlingen
- Arrangör: Integrativ Fysiologi
- Kontaktperson: Grapensparr, Liza
This thesis examines the possibility of using different auxiliary cells (Schwann cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and neural crest stem cells) to improve the engraftment and function of endogenous and transplanted islets.
Type 1 diabetes develops through the progressive destruction of the insulin-producing beta-cells. Regeneration or replacement of beta-cells is therefore needed to restore normal glucose homeostasis. Presently, normoglycemia can be achieved by the transplantation of whole pancreas or isolated islets of Langerhans. Islet transplantation can be performed through a simple laparoscopic procedure, but the long-term graft survival is low due to poor revascularization and early cell death.
This thesis examined the possibility of using different auxiliary cells (Schwann cells, endothelial progenitor cells, and neural crest stem cells) to improve the engraftment and function of endogenous and transplanted islets.
Co-transplantation of Schwann cells with islets improved islet graft function early after transplantation, and caused an increased islet mass at one month posttransplantation. However, the vascular densities of these grafts were decreased, which also related to an impaired graft function.
Islet grafts containing endothelial progenitor cells had a superior vascular density, with functional chimeric blood vessels and substantially higher blood perfusion and oxygen tension than control transplants.
By culturing and transplanting islets together with neural crest stem cells it was found that islets exposed to these cells had a higher beta-cell proliferation compared with control islets. At one month posttransplantation, the grafts with neural crest stem cells also had a superior vascular- and neural density.
The potential of intracardially injected neural crest stem cells to home to the pancreas and ameliorate hyperglycemia in diabetic mice was investigated. During a three-week period after such cell treatment blood glucose concentrations decreased, but were not fully normalized. Neural crest stem cells were present in more than 10% of the pancreatic islets at two days postinjection, at which time the beta-cell proliferation was markedly increased when compared with islets of saline-treated diabetic animals. Three weeks later, a doubled beta-cell mass was observed in animals receiving neural crest stem cells.
In summary, islets can easily be transplanted together with different auxiliary cells. Some of these cells provide the possibility of improving vascular- and neural engraftment, as well as beta-cell growth and survival. Systemic administration of neural crest stem cells holds the potential of regenerating the endogenous beta-cells.