Utility of co-transplanting mesenchymal stem cells in islet transplantation.
ABSTRACT Islet transplantation is characterized by the transplantation of isolated islets from donor pancreata into a diabetic recipient. Although it is a viable choice in the treatment of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, most patients (approximately 90%) require insulin five years after transplantation. Recently, the co-transplantation of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and islets in animal studies has revealed the effectiveness of MSCs co-transplantation for improving islet function. The mechanisms underlying the beneficial impact of MSCs include immunomodulation and the promotion of angiogenesis. In this review, we discuss MSCs and how they support improved graft survival and function.