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      Endocrine Secretory Reserve and Proinsulin Processing in Recipients of Islet of Langerhans Versus Whole Pancreas Transplants


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          β-Cells have demonstrated altered proinsulin processing after islet transplantation. We compare β-cell metabolic responses and proinsulin processing in pancreas and islet transplant recipients with respect to healthy control subjects.


          We studied 15 islet and 32 pancreas transplant recipients. Islet subjects were subdivided into insulin-requiring (IR-ISL, n = 6) and insulin-independent (II-ISL, n = 9) groups. Ten healthy subjects served as control subjects. Subjects were administered an intravenous arginine stimulation test, and insulin, C-peptide, total proinsulin, intact proinsulin, and proinsulin fragment levels were determined from serum samples. Acute insulin response (AIR) and proinsulin processing rates were calculated.


          We found that basal insulin and C-peptide levels were higher in the pancreas group than in all other groups. II-ISL patients had basal insulin and C-peptide levels similar to healthy control subjects. The IR-ISL group had significantly lower AIRs than all other groups. Basal processing rates were higher in the pancreas and II-ISL groups than in healthy control subjects and the IR-ISL group. After arginine stimulation, all groups had elevated processing rates, with the exception of the IR-ISL group.


          Our data suggest that II-ISL transplant recipients can maintain basal metabolic parameters similar to healthy control subjects at the cost of a higher rate of proinsulin processing. IR-ISL transplant recipients, on the other hand, demonstrate both lower insulin response and lower basal rates of proinsulin processing even after arginine stimulation.

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          Most cited references 24

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          Five-year follow-up after clinical islet transplantation.

          Islet transplantation can restore endogenous beta-cell function to subjects with type 1 diabetes. Sixty-five patients received an islet transplant in Edmonton as of 1 November 2004. Their mean age was 42.9 +/- 1.2 years, their mean duration of diabetes was 27.1 +/- 1.3 years, and 57% were women. The main indication was problematic hypoglycemia. Forty-four patients completed the islet transplant as defined by insulin independence, and three further patients received >16,000 islet equivalents (IE)/kg but remained on insulin and are deemed complete. Those who became insulin independent received a total of 799,912 +/- 30,220 IE (11,910 +/- 469 IE/kg). Five subjects became insulin independent after one transplant. Fifty-two patients had two transplants, and 11 subjects had three transplants. In the completed patients, 5-year follow-up reveals that the majority ( approximately 80%) have C-peptide present post-islet transplant, but only a minority ( approximately 10%) maintain insulin independence. The median duration of insulin independence was 15 months (interquartile range 6.2-25.5). The HbA(1c) (A1C) level was well controlled in those off insulin (6.4% [6.1-6.7]) and in those back on insulin but C-peptide positive (6.7% [5.9-7.5]) and higher in those who lost all graft function (9.0% [6.7-9.3]) (P < 0.05). Those who resumed insulin therapy did not appear more insulin resistant compared with those off insulin and required half their pretransplant daily dose of insulin but had a lower increment of C-peptide to a standard meal challenge (0.44 +/- 0.06 vs. 0.76 +/- 0.06 nmol/l, P < 0.001). The Hypoglycemic score and lability index both improved significantly posttransplant. In the 128 procedures performed, bleeding occurred in 15 and branch portal vein thrombosis in 5 subjects. Complications of immunosuppressive therapy included mouth ulcers, diarrhea, anemia, and ovarian cysts. Of the 47 completed patients, 4 required retinal laser photocoagulation or vitrectomy and 5 patients with microalbuminuria developed macroproteinuria. The need for multiple antihypertensive medications increased from 6% pretransplant to 42% posttransplant, while the use of statin therapy increased from 23 to 83% posttransplant. There was no change in the neurothesiometer scores pre- versus posttransplant. In conclusion, islet transplantation can relieve glucose instability and problems with hypoglycemia. C-peptide secretion was maintained in the majority of subjects for up to 5 years, although most reverted to using some insulin. The results, though promising, still point to the need for further progress in the availability of transplantable islets, improving islet engraftment, preserving islet function, and reducing toxic immunosuppression.
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            Improvement in Outcomes of Clinical Islet Transplantation: 1999–2010

            OBJECTIVE To describe trends of primary efficacy and safety outcomes of islet transplantation in type 1 diabetes recipients with severe hypoglycemia from the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry (CITR) from 1999 to 2010. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS A total of 677 islet transplant-alone or islet-after-kidney recipients with type 1 diabetes in the CITR were analyzed for five primary efficacy outcomes and overall safety to identify any differences by early (1999–2002), mid (2003–2006), or recent (2007–2010) transplant era based on annual follow-up to 5 years. RESULTS Insulin independence at 3 years after transplant improved from 27% in the early era (1999–2002, n = 214) to 37% in the mid (2003–2006, n = 255) and to 44% in the most recent era (2007–2010, n = 208; P = 0.006 for years-by-era; P = 0.01 for era alone). C-peptide ≥0.3 ng/mL, indicative of islet graft function, was retained longer in the most recent era (P < 0.001). Reduction of HbA1c and resolution of severe hypoglycemia exhibited enduring long-term effects. Fasting blood glucose stabilization also showed improvements in the most recent era. There were also modest reductions in the occurrence of adverse events. The islet reinfusion rate was lower: 48% by 1 year in 2007–2010 vs. 60–65% in 1999–2006 (P < 0.01). Recipients that ever achieved insulin-independence experienced longer duration of islet graft function (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS The CITR shows improvement in primary efficacy and safety outcomes of islet transplantation in recipients who received transplants in 2007–2010 compared with those in 1999–2006, with fewer islet infusions and adverse events per recipient.
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              beta-cell dysfunction and failure in type 2 diabetes: potential mechanisms.

               S. J. Kahn,  D Porte (2001)
              Type 2 diabetes is characterized by a progressive loss of beta-cell function throughout the course of the disease. The pattern of loss is an initial defect in early or first-phase insulin secretion, followed by a decreasing maximal capacity of glucose to potentiate all nonglucose signals. Last, a defective steady-state and basal insulin secretion develops, leading to complete beta-cell failure requiring insulin treatment. This functional loss exceeds the expected impact of a 20-50% loss of beta-cells reported at autopsy, which has been associated with amyloid deposits. This review summarizes the nature of the amyloid deposition process and its association with disproportionate hyperproinsulinemia. It reviews recent studies in IAPP (islet-amyloid polypeptide, or amylin) transgenic mice developing islet amyloid deposits and hyperglycemia to suggest that the process of amyloid fibril formation impairs function early and leads to beta-cell failure and eventual death. Based on the known association of amyloid deposits and relative hyperproinsulinemia, it is hypothesized that fibril formation begins during impaired glucose tolerance after other factors cause the initial defects in early insulin secretion and insulin action. Thus, the process that leads to beta-cell loss is implicated in the deposition of amyloid and the late unrelenting progressive hyperglycemia now found in all patients despite current therapies.

                Author and article information

                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                Diabetes Care
                American Diabetes Association
                November 2013
                15 October 2013
                : 36
                : 11
                : 3726-3731
                [1] 1Department of Visceral Surgery and Transplantation, Geneva University Hospitals, Geneva, Switzerland
                [2] 2Department of Endocrinology–Metabolism and Diabetology–Nutrition, Jean Minjoz University Hospital, Besancon, France
                [3] 3Cell Isolation and Transplantation Center, Department of Surgery, Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva School of Medicine, Geneva, Switzerland
                Author notes
                Corresponding author: Nabeel M. Elkhafif, nelkhafif@ 123456hotmail.com .
                © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.

                Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/3.0/ for details.

                Page count
                Pages: 6
                Original Research

                Endocrinology & Diabetes


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