The caspase selective inhibitor EP1013 augments human islet graft function and longevity in marginal mass islet transplantation in mice.
ABSTRACT Clinical islet transplantation can provide insulin independence in patients with type 1 diabetes, but chronic graft failure has been observed. This has been attributed in part to loss of >or=60% of the transplanted islets in the peritransplant period, resulting in a marginal implant mass. Strategies designed to maximize survival of the initial islet mass are likely to have major impact in enhancing long-term clinical outcomes. EP1013 (N-benzyloxycabonyl-Val Asp-fluoromethyl ketone [zVD-FMK]), is a broad-spectrum caspase selective inhibitor with no observed toxicity in rodents.
The therapeutic benefit of EP1013 was examined in a syngeneic rodent islet transplant model using deceased donor human islets to determine whether the amount of tissue required to restore euglycemia in diabetic animals could be reduced.
EP1013 (combined pretransplant islet culture for 2 h and in vivo treatment for days 0-5 posttransplant) significantly improved marginal islet mass function following syngeneic islet transplantation in mice, even at lower doses, compared with previous studies using the pan-caspase inhibitor N-benzyloxycabonyl-Val Ala-Asp-fluoromethyl ketone (zVAD-FMK). EP1013 supplementation in vitro improved human islet yields following prolonged culture and reversed diabetes following implantation of a marginal human islet mass (80-90% reduction) into mice.
Our data suggest that EP1013 therapy will markedly reduce the islet mass required in clinical islet transplantation, improving insulin independence rates following single-donor infusion.
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ABSTRACT: Aims/hypothesis Transplantation of pancreatic islets constitutes a promising alternative treatment for type 1 diabetes. However, it is limited by the shortage of organ donors. Previous results from our laboratory have demonstrated beneficial effects of recombinant human prolactin (rhPRL) treatment on beta cell cultures. We therefore investigated the role of rhPRL action in human beta cell survival, focusing on the molecular mechanisms involved in this process. Methods Human pancreatic islets were isolated using an automated method. Islet cultures were pre-treated in the absence or presence of rhPRL and then subjected to serum starvation or cytokine treatment. Beta cells were labelled with Newport green and apoptosis was evaluated using flow cytometry analysis. Levels of BCL2 gene family members were studied by quantitative RT-PCR and western blot. Caspase-8, -9 and -3 activity, as well as nitric oxide production, were evaluated by fluorimetric assays. Results The proportion of apoptotic beta cells was significantly lowered in the presence of rhPRL under both cell death-induced conditions. We also demonstrated that cytoprotection may involve an increase of BCL2/BAX ratio, as well as inhibition of caspase-8, -9 and -3. Conclusions/interpretation Our study provides relevant evidence for a protective effect of lactogens on human beta cell apoptosis. The results also suggest that the improvement of cell survival may involve, at least in part, inhibition of cell death pathways controlled by the BCL2 gene family members. These findings are highly relevant for improvement of the islet isolation procedure and for clinical islet transplantation.Diabetologia 05/2012; 54(6):1588-1588. · 6.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Large numbers of islets are lost in the early phase after clinical islet transplantation, through apoptosis, necrosis, or innate inflammatory injury. We previously demonstrated the efficacy of a series of caspase inhibitors in mouse models on islet engraftment through reduction in early posttransplant apoptosis. We studied IDN6556, a caspase inhibitor with a first-pass effect, in a large animal (pig) intraportal marginal mass islet autotransplant model. Total pancreatectomy and marginal mass islet autotransplantation were carried out in Yucatan miniature swine to explore the effects of IDN6556 on islet engraftment. Pigs were treated with IDN6556 at a dose of 20 mg/kg orally twice daily (n=7) or phosphate-buffered saline control (n=6) orally for 7 days, and blood glucose was monitored for 1 month. Glucose tolerance and acute insulin release were determined at 1 month. There were no differences in islet procurement, isolation, or islet functional parameters between the two groups. Pigs receiving IDN6556 had lower fasting blood glucose level after transplantation and a higher percentage (100% vs. 33.3%) showed fasting blood glucose levels less than 11 mM. This translated into an enhanced metabolic reserve and acute insulin release for pigs in the treatment group. IDN6556 led to enhanced islet engraftment in this large animal islet transplant model. Although this study has limitations including a short interval of study (1 month) and the use of unpurified islets, the results justify early clinical trials of IDN6556 in islet transplantation.Transplantation 06/2012; 94(1):30-5. · 3.78 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Pancreatic islet transplantation, a treatment for type 1 diabetes, has met significant challenges, as a substantial fraction of the islet mass fails to engraft, partly due to death by apoptosis in the peri- and post-transplantation periods. Previous evidence has suggested that NF-κB activation is involved in cytokine-mediated β-cell apoptosis and regulates the expression of pro-inflammatory and chemokine genes. We therefore sought to explore the effects of β-cell-specific inhibition of NF-κB activation as a means of cytoprotection in an allogeneic model of islet transplantation. To this end, we used islets isolated from the ToI-β transgenic mouse, where NF-κB signalling can specifically and conditionally be inhibited in β-cells by expressing an inducible and non-degradable form of IκBα regulated by the tet-on system. Our results show that β-cell-specific blockade of NF-κB led to a prolonged islet graft survival, with a relative higher preservation of the engrafted endocrine tissue and reduced inflammation. Importantly, a longer delay in allograft rejection was achieved when mice were systemically treated with the proteasome inhibitor, Bortezomib. Our findings emphasize the contribution of NF-κB activation in the allograft rejection process, and suggest an involvement of the CXCL10/IP-10 chemokine. Furthermore, we suggest a potential, readily available therapeutic agent that may temper this process.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(2):e56924. · 3.73 Impact Factor