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      Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Protect Human Islets from Pro-Inflammatory Cytokines


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          Transplantation of human islets is an attractive alternative to daily insulin injections for patients with type 1 diabetes. However, the majority of islet recipients lose graft function within five years. Inflammation is a primary contributor to graft loss, and inhibiting pro-inflammatory cytokine activity can reverse inflammation mediated dysfunction of islet grafts. As mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) possess numerous immunoregulatory properties, we hypothesized that MSCs could protect human islets from pro-inflammatory cytokines. Five hundred human islets were co-cultured with 0.5 or 1.0×10 6 human MSCs derived from bone marrow or pancreas for 24 hours followed by 48 hour exposure to interferon-γ, tumor necrosis factor-α and interleukin 1β. Controls include islets cultured alone (± cytokines) and with human dermal fibroblasts (± cytokines). For all conditions, glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), total islet cellular insulin content, islet β cell apoptosis, and potential cytoprotective factors secreted in the culture media were determined. Cytokine exposure disrupted human islet GSIS based on stimulation index and percentage insulin secretion. Conversely, culture with 1.0×10 6 bMSCs preserved GSIS from cytokine treated islets. Protective effects were not observed with fibroblasts, indicating that preservation of human islet GSIS after exposure to pro-inflammatory cytokines is MSC dependent. Islet β cell apoptosis was observed in the presence of cytokines; however, culture of bMSCs with islets prevented β cell apoptosis after cytokine treatment. Hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) as well as matrix metalloproteinases 2 and 9 were also identified as putative secreted cytoprotective factors; however, other secreted factors likely play a role in protection. This study, therefore, demonstrates that MSCs may be beneficial for islet engraftment by promoting cell survival and reduced inflammation.

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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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            Immunomodulation by mesenchymal stem cells and clinical experience.

            Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from adult marrow can differentiate in vitro and in vivo into various cell types, such as bone, fat and cartilage. MSCs preferentially home to damaged tissue and may have therapeutic potential. In vitro data suggest that MSCs have low inherent immunogenicity as they induce little, if any, proliferation of allogeneic lymphocytes. Instead, MSCs appear to be immunosuppressive in vitro. They inhibit T-cell proliferation to alloantigens and mitogens and prevent the development of cytotoxic T-cells. In vivo, MSCs prolong skin allograft survival and have several immunomodulatory effects, which are presented and discussed in the present study. Possible clinical applications include therapy-resistant severe acute graft-versus-host disease, tissue repair, treatment of rejection of organ allografts and autoimmune disorders.
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              Mesenchymal stromal cells: facilitators of successful transplantation?

              Mesenchymal stromal/stem cells (MSCs) possess immunomodulatory and reparative properties. Through specific interactions with immune cells that participate in both innate and adaptive responses, MSCs exposed to an inflammatory microenvironment can downregulate many immune effector functions. Clinical trials focusing on MSCs to treat graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and autoimmune diseases are underway. Current analyses suggest that MSCs will improve cell and solid organ transplantation by ameliorating rejection and possibly eliminating the requirement for prolonged regimens of conventional immunosuppressive drugs. This review examines the in vitro and in vivo evidence for the clinical use of bone marrow derived MSCs. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                30 May 2012
                : 7
                : 5
                [1 ]Department of Surgery, 5-002 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
                [2 ]Alberta Diabetes Institute, 5-002 Li Ka Shing Centre for Health Research Innovation, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
                University of Bremen, Germany
                Author notes

                Conceived and designed the experiments: TYY KLS AA GSK. Performed the experiments: TYY. Analyzed the data: TYY KLS TK AA NJ AMJS GSK. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: TK AA NJ AMJS GSK. Wrote the paper: TYY KLS GSK.

                Yeung et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
                Page count
                Pages: 9
                Research Article
                Developmental Biology
                Stem Cells
                Mesenchymal Stem Cells
                Anatomy and Physiology
                Endocrine System
                Diabetic Endocrinology
                Clinical Immunology
                Immune System
                Diabetic Endocrinology
                Diabetes Mellitus Type 1



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