XIAP inhibition of β-cell apoptosis reduces the number of islets required to restore euglycemia in a syngeneic islet transplantation model
Volume 2, Issue 1
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Pages 18 - 23http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/isl.2.1.9997
Authors: Annette Plesner, Galina Soukhatcheva, Robert G. Korneluk and C. Bruce Verchere View affiliations
Clinical pancreatic islet transplantation has great promise as a treatment for type 1 diabetes but despite recent advances, it is still limited by the need for lifelong immunosuppression, restricted availability of donor islets, and uncertainty regarding long-term graft survival. Using a syngeneic, suboptimal islet transplantation model, we asked whether adenoviral overexpression of an anti-apoptotic protein, the X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis protein (XIAP) would protect transplanted islet cells from death and reduce the number of islets required for successful transplantation. Transplantation of 100 XIAP-expressing islets into the kidney capsule of syngeneic Balb/c mice restored euglycemia in 86% of recipients, where transplantation of 100 islets transduced with a control adenovirus expressing LacZ restored euglycemia in only 27% of recipients. Analysis of islet grafts by insulin/TUNEL double immunostaining revealed fewer apoptotic beta-cells in recipients of XIAP- compared with LacZ-expressing grafts (0.8±0.5 vs. 2.4±0.8 double-positive cells/graft), suggesting that XIAP enhances graft success by inhibiting β-cell apoptosis in the immediate post-transplant period. In summary, XIAP overexpression inhibits beta cell apoptosis in syngeneic islet transplants, thereby reducing the number of islets and decreasing the number of days required to restore euglycemia. These data raise the possibility that ex vivo XIAP gene transfer in islets prior to transplantation has the potential to increase the number of donor islets available for transplantation and may enhance graft function and long-term transplant success.
Received: August 6, 2009; Accepted: September 4, 2009