[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background: Effective digestive enzymes are crucial for successful islet isolation. Supplemental proteases are essential as they synergize with collagenase for effective pancreas digestion. The presence of tryptic-like activity has been implicated in efficient enzyme blends and the present study aimed to evaluate if addition of clostripain, an enzyme with tryptic-like activity, could improve efficacy of the islet isolation procedure. Methods: Clostripain was added to the enzyme blend just before pancreas perfusion. Islets were isolated per standard method and numerous isolation parameters, islet quality control, and the number of isolations fulfilling standard transplantation criteria were evaluated. Two control organs per clostripain organ were chosen by blindly matching against body mass index, cold ischemia time, hemoglobin A1c, donor sex, and donor age. Results: There were no differences in pancreas weight, dissection time, digestion time, harvest time, percent digested pancreas, or total pellet volume before islet purification between control or clostripain pancreases. Glucose-stimulated insulin release results were similar between groups. Total isolation islet equivalents, purified tissue volume and islet equivalents/g pancreas as well as fulfillment of transplantation criteria favored clostripain processed pancreases. Conclusions: The addition of clostripain to the enzyme blend soundly improved islet yields and transplantation rates. It gently aided pancreas digestion and maintained proper islet functionality. The addition of clostripain to the enzyme blend has now been implemented into standard isolation protocols at the isolation centers in Uppsala and in Oslo.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multipotent mesenchymal stromal cell (MSC) therapy and costimulation blockade are two immunomodulatory strategies being developed concomitantly for the treatment of immunological diseases. Both of these strategies have the capacity to inhibit immune responses and induce regulatory T cells; however, their ability to synergize remains largely unexplored. In order to study this, MSCs from C57BL/6 (H2(b)) mice were infused together with fully major histocompatibility complex-mismatched Balb/c (H2(d)) allogeneic islets into the portal vein of diabetic C57BL/6 (H2(b)) mice, which were subsequently treated with costimulation blockade for the first 10 days after transplantation. Mice receiving both recipient-type MSCs, CTLA4Ig, and anti-CD40L demonstrated indefinite graft acceptance, just as did most of the recipients receiving MSCs and CTLA4Ig. Recipients of MSCs only rejected their grafts, and fewer than one half of the recipients treated with costimulation blockade alone achieved permanent engraftment. The livers of the recipients treated with MSCs plus costimulation blockade contained large numbers of islets surrounded by Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells. These recipients showed reduced antidonor IgG levels and a glucose tolerance similar to that of naïve nondiabetic mice. Intrahepatic lymphocytes and splenocytes from these recipients displayed reduced proliferation and interferon-γ production when re-exposed to donor antigen. MSCs in the presence of costimulation blockade prevented dendritic cell maturation, inhibited T cell proliferation, increased Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell numbers, and increased indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase activity. These results indicate that MSC infusion and costimulation blockade have complementary immune-modulating effects that can be used for a broad number of applications in transplantation, autoimmunity, and regenerative medicine.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The cause of type 1 diabetes (T1D) remains unknown; however, a decisive role for environmental factors is recognized. The increased incidence of T1D during the last decades, as well as regional differences, is paralleled by differences in the intestinal bacterial flora. A new animal model was established to test the hypothesis that bacteria entering the pancreatic ductal system could trigger β-cell destruction and to provide new insights to the immunopathology of the disease. Obtained findings were compared with those present in two patients dying at onset of T1D. Different bacterial species, present in the human duodenum, instilled into the ductal system of the pancreas in healthy rats rapidly induced cellular infiltration, consisting of mainly neutrophil polymorphonuclear cells and monocytes/macrophages, centered around the pancreatic ducts. Also, the islets of Langerhans attracted polymorphonuclear cells, possibly via release of IL-6, IL-8, and monocyte chemotactic protein 1. Small bleedings or large dilatations of the capillaries were frequently found within the islets, and several β-cells had severe hydropic degeneration (ie, swollen cytoplasm) but with preserved nuclei. A novel rat model for the initial events in T1D is presented, revealing marked similarities with the morphologic findings obtained in patients dying at onset of T1D and signifying a decisive role for bacteria in eliciting an adverse innate immunity response. The present findings support the hypothesis that T1D is an organ-specific inflammatory disease.
American Journal Of Pathology 08/2012; 181(5):1735-48. DOI:10.1016/j.ajpath.2012.07.022 · 4.59 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Immunosuppressive (IS) medication is needed to avoid graft rejection in porcine transplantation models. An ideal IS therapy should have no side-effects, but increased susceptibility to infections, disturbed intestinal microflora and toxic effects on organs and tissues are commonly reported. The aim of the present study was to design an IS protocol with tacrolimus and mycophenolic acid to be used for maintenance therapy in the post-transplant period. An eligible whole blood trough value for tacrolimus was 5-15 μg/L. Conventional specific pathogen-free pigs were fitted with an indwelling catheter under general anaesthesia, and after the acclimatization period three groups were formed: group A (n= 4) received 0.15 mg/kg body weight (BW) twice daily tacrolimus and 500 mg twice daily mycophenolic acid; group B (n= 4) received 0.3 mg/kg BW twice daily tacrolimus and 500 mg twice daily mycophenolic acid; group C (n= 2) did not receive any medication. Daily clinical examinations and analyses of blood concentrations of tacrolimus and glucose were performed. Total and differential white blood cell counts, enzyme activities, bilirubin and electrolyte concentrations were measured every fourth day. At the end of the experiment, the pigs were killed with an overdose of pentobarbital intravenously and a necropsy was performed immediately. All animals seemed to tolerate the IS treatment well. No alterations in their clinical state of health were observed throughout the study and daily weight gain was similar for the three groups. The necropsy did not reveal any pathological findings related to medication. The study showed that 0.25 mg/kg BW twice daily tacrolimus and 500 mg twice daily mycophenolic acid would be an appropriate maintenance dosage for conventional pigs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to predict clinical function of a specific islet batch released for clinical transplantation using standardized variables remains an elusive goal.
Analysis of 10 donor, 7 islet isolation, 3 quality control, and 6 recipient variables was undertaken in 110 islet-after-kidney transplants and correlated to the pre- to 28-day posttransplant change in C-peptide to glucose and creatinine ratio (ΔCP/GCr).
Univariate analysis yielded islet volume transplanted (Spearman r=0.360, P<0.001) and increment of insulin secretion (r=0.377, P<0.001) as variables positively associated to ΔCP/GCr. A negative association to ΔCP/GCr was cold ischemia time (r=-0.330, P<0.001). A linear, backward-selection multiple regression was used to obtain a model for the transplanted functional islet mass (TFIM). The TFIM model, composed of islet volume transplanted, increment of insulin secretion, cold ischemia time, and exocrine tissue volume transplanted, accounted for 43% of the variance of the clinical outcome in the islet-after-kidney data set.
The TFIM provides a straightforward and potent tool to guide the decision to use a specific islet preparation for clinical transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autologous or allogeneic transfer of tumor-infiltrating T-lymphocytes is a promising treatment for metastatic cancers, but a major concern is the difficulty in evaluating cell trafficking and distribution in adoptive cell therapy. This study presents a method of tracking transfusion of T-lymphoblasts in a porcine model by (18)F-2-fluoro-2-deoxy-d-glucose ([(18)F]FDG) and positron emission tomography.
T-lymphoblasts were labeled with the positron-emitting tracer [(18)F]FDG through incubation. The T-lymphoblasts were administered into the bloodstream, and the distribution was followed by positron emission tomography for 120 min. The cells were administered either intravenously into the internal jugular vein (n=5) or intraarterially into the ascending aorta (n=1). Two of the pigs given intravenous administration were pretreated with low-molecular-weight dextran sulphate.
The cellular kinetics and distribution were readily quantifiable for up to 120 min. High (78.6% of the administered cells) heterogeneous pulmonary uptake was found after completed intravenous transfusion. The pulmonary uptake was decreased either by preincubating and coadministrating the T-lymphoblasts with low-molecular-weight dextran sulphate or by administrating them intraarterially.
The present work shows the feasibility of quantitatively monitoring and evaluating cell trafficking and distribution following administration of [(18)F]FDG-labeled T-lymphoblasts. The protocol can potentially be transferred to the clinical setting with few modifications.
Nuclear Medicine and Biology 08/2011; 38(6):827-33. DOI:10.1016/j.nucmedbio.2011.02.011 · 2.41 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Islet transplantation can today be offered to well-selected patients with type 1 diabetes who have previously received a renal
transplant or have severe problems with hypoglycaemic unawareness. Even if patients need repeated transplantations to become
insulin independent, a stabilization of glucose levels and normalization of HbA1c are often achieved already after the first
transplantation. In this chapter we describe the historical background to today’s transplantations and in higher detail discuss
the findings of clinical trials performed in recent years, starting with the “Edmonton Protocol”. Practical issues surrounding
islet transplantation and available methods to monitor the islet graft’s performance are discussed in separate sections.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The fate of islets in clinical transplantation is unclear. To elude on this positron emission tomography combined with computed tomography (PET/CT) was performed for 60 min during islet transplantation in five patients receiving six transplants. A fraction of the islets (23%) were labeled with 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose ([(18)F]FDG) and carefully mixed with unlabeled islets just prior to intraportal transplantation. The peak radioactivity concentration in the liver was found at 19 min after start of islet infusion and corresponded to only 75% of what was expected, indicating that islets are lost during the transplantation procedure. No accumulation of radioactivity was found in the lungs. A nonphysiological peak of C-peptide was found in plasma during and immediately after transplantation in all subjects. Distribution in the liver was heterogeneous with wide variations in location and concentration. Islets found in areas with concentrations of >400 IEQ/cc liver tissue varied between 1% and 32% of the graft in different subjects. No side effects attributed to the PET/CT procedure were found. Clinical outcome in all patients was comparable to that previously observed indicating that the [(18)F]FDG labeling procedure did not harm the islets. The technique has potential to be used to assess approaches to enhance islet survival and engraftment in clinical transplantation.
American Journal of Transplantation 10/2009; 9(12):2816-24. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2009.02844.x · 5.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The isolation of islets from the human pancreas critically depends on an efficient enzyme blend. Previous studies have solely focused on the presence of collagenase and neutral protease/thermolysin. Despite improved characterization of these components, the lot-related variability in efficacy still persists suggesting that additional so far disregarded enzymes are required for efficient islet cleavage.
Varying activities of a tryptic-like enzyme were identified within collagenase NB1 lots, which were selected according to a matched ratio between tryptic-like and collagenase activity (TLA-ratio). Rat and human pancreata were processed with current standard procedures.
Increasing the TLA-ratio from 1.3% to 10% reduced pancreas dissociation time in rats by 50% without affecting islet yield, viability, or posttransplant function in diabetic nude mice. Enhancing the TLA-ratio from 1.3% to 12.6% for human pancreas processing resulted in a significant reduction of recirculation time and increased incrementally human islet yield without affecting purity, in vitro function or recovery after culture. Optimized pancreas digestion correlated with a higher percentage of islet preparations fulfilling quality criteria for clinical transplantation.
We conclude that TLA is an effective component that should be included in moderate amounts in enzyme blends for human islet isolation to optimize the efficiency and minimize the lot-related variability.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Low molecular weight dextran sulfate (LMW-DS) is a strong candidate to prevent early islet graft destruction caused by the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction. Pharmacokinetics, safety, tolerability, and the effect on endogenous release of various growth factors were studied in humans.
Thirty healthy volunteers were given LMW-DS as a combined bolus and 20 min intravenous infusion followed by a continuous intravenous infusion for 5 hr to reach different predetermined target-activated partial thromboplastin times (APTT) in five study groups. Monitoring of APTT was used to estimate and control the plasma concentration. Safety, including hemostasis parameters, was evaluated before proceeding to a higher target APTT-level. Plasma was collected continuously during the infusion and was analyzed for additional safety markers and the presence of six different growth factors.
Predetermined target APTT levels were reached and kept for 5 hr without extensive dose corrections. After the 5 hr 20 min of LMW-DS infusion, the subjects in the highest dose group (target APTT=150 s) were back at APTT-levels below 75 s within 60 min. Plasma levels of hepatocyte growth factor were increased 100-fold within 20 min of infusion start and persisted more than 8 hr in the two highest dose groups.
At doses that maintain APTT at up to 150 s for 5 hrs 20 min, LMW-DS could be safely infused without affecting the platelet count or revealing other signs of increased bleeding risk. The observed endogenous release of islet protective hepatocyte growth factor could be an additional beneficial effect of LMW-DS during the first critical hours after transplantation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A 7-year-old girl with severe hereditary pancreatitis underwent total pancreatectomy. A total of 160,000 islet equivalents (6400 islet/kg) were transplanted to the brachioradialis muscle of the right forearm. Her plasma C-peptide level was undetectable after pancreatectomy but increased to 1.37 ng/mL after 17 days; at this time point, her insulin requirement was 0.75 units of insulin/kg/day. At 5- and 27-months, her hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) and insulin requirements were 4.5 and 5.3% and 0.3 and 0.18 units/kg/day, respectively. Basal and stimulated C-peptide levels were 0.67 +/- 0.07 and 3.36 +/- 1.37 ng/mL, respectively. Stimulated insulin levels were 30% higher in the islet-bearing arm compared to the contralateral arm after glucagon stimulation. After surgery and islet transplantation, the quality of life improved dramatically and she gained 8 kg of weight. In summary, a normal HbA1c, a low insulin requirement and the absence of recurrent hypoglycemia and the gradient of insulin between the arms indicate that the intramuscularly transplanted islets contribute to a long-term clinically significant metabolic control.
American Journal of Transplantation 03/2008; 8(2):458-62. DOI:10.1111/j.1600-6143.2007.02060.x · 5.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Clinical islet transplantation is currently being explored as a treatment for persons with type 1 diabetes and hypoglycaemia unawareness. Although 'proof-of-principle' has been established in recent clinical studies, the procedure suffers from low efficacy. At the time of transplantation, the isolated islets are allowed to embolise the liver after injection in the portal vein, a procedure that is unique in the area of transplantation. A novel view on the engraftment of intraportally transplanted islets is presented that could explain the low efficacy of the procedure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Shipment of pancreata between distant centers is frequently associated with prolonged cold ischemia time (CIT) that leads to poorer outcomes for islet transplantation. Clinical pilot trials have indicated that oxygenation of explanted human pancreata utilizing the two-layer method (TLM) allows the use of marginal donor pancreata for islet transplantation. The present study aimed to clarify whether TLM enhances the ischemic tolerance of human pancreata.
We analyzed retrospectively the outcome of 200 human islet isolations performed after TLM preservation or storage in University of Wisconsin solution (UWS).
Donor characteristics and digestion parameters did not vary significantly between TLM-preserved and UWS-stored pancreata. No differences were observed between experimental groups with regard to islet yield, purity, or dynamic glucose stimulation index after either short or prolonged CIT. However, CIT and stimulation index were negatively correlated in each experimental group. The isolation outcome in donors aged > or =60 years was not increased after TLM preservation when compared to UWS storage. No effect was observed regarding islet posttransplant function in recipients with established kidney grafts.
The present study suggests that the ischemic tolerance of human pancreata cannot be extended by TLM preservation. In addition, TLM does not seem to improve the isolation outcome for pancreata from elderly donors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In clinical islet transplantation, the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) is a major factor contributing to the poor initial engraftment of the islets. This reaction is triggered by tissue factor and monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1, expressed by the transplanted pancreatic islets when the islets come in contact with blood in the portal vein. All currently identified systemic inhibitors of the IBMIR are associated with a significantly increased risk of bleeding or other side effects. To avoid systemic treatment, the aim of the present study was to render the islet graft blood biocompatible by applying a continuous heparin coating to the islet surface.
A biotin/avidin technique was used to conjugate preformed heparin complexes to the surface of pancreatic islets. This endothelial-like coating was achieved by conjugating barely 40 IU heparin per full-size clinical islet transplant.
Both in an in vitro loop model and in an allogeneic porcine model of clinical islet transplantation, this heparin coating provided protection against the IBMIR. Culturing heparinized islets for 24 h did not affect insulin release after glucose challenge, and heparin-coated islets cured diabetic mice in a manner similar to untreated islets.
This novel pretreatment procedure prevents intraportal thrombosis and efficiently inhibits the IBMIR without increasing the bleeding risk and, unlike other pretreatment procedures (e.g., gene therapy), without inducing acute or chronic toxicity in the islets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations have previously only been performed after several pre-operative sessions of plasmapheresis followed by splenectomy, and with the conventional triple-drug immunosuppressive protocol being reinforced with anti-lymphocyte globulin and B-cell-specific drugs. We have designed a protocol without splenectomy, based on antigen-specific immunoadsorption, rituximab and a conventional triple-drug immunosuppressive protocol.
The protocol called for a 1-month pre-transplantation conditioning period, starting with one dosage of rituximab and followed by full-dose tacrolimus, mycophenolate mofetil and prednisolone. Antigen-specific immunoadsorption was performed on pre-transplantation days -6, -5, -2 and -1. After the last session, 0.5 g/kg of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) was administered. Postoperatively, three more apheresis sessions were given every third day.
Twenty-one patients have received transplants with this protocol. The ABO-antibodies (Abs) were readily removed by the antigen-specific immunoadsorption and were kept at a low level post-transplantation by further adsorptions. There were no side effects, and all but one patient have normal renal transplant function.
We conclude that after one infusion each of rituximab and IVIG, and antigen-specific immunoadsorption, blood-group incompatible renal transplantations can be performed with standard immunosuppression and without splenectomy, and with excellent short- and long-term results.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have designed a protocol for ABO-incompatible kidney transplantations based on antigen-specific immunoadsorption rather than plasmapheresis to remove anti-A or anti-B antibodies and with a Prograf/Cellcept/prednisolone protocol using rituximab rather than splenectomy to prevent rebound antibodies. Twelve patients have successfully received transplants with this protocol. The ABO-antibodies were readily removed by the antigen-specific immunoadsorption and maintained at a low-level posttransplantation. There were no side effects. All patients have normal renal transplant function with a follow-up of 1 to 34 months.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: There are strong indications that only a small fraction of grafts successfully engraft in clinical islet transplantation. One explanation may be the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) elicited by tissue factor, which is produced by the endocrine cells. In the present study, we show that islets intended for islet transplantation produce tissue factor in both the transmembrane and the alternatively spliced form and that the membrane-bound form is released as microparticles often associated with both insulin and glucagon granules. A low-molecular mass factor VIIa (FVIIa) inhibitor that indirectly blocks both forms of tissue factor was shown in vitro to be a promising drug to eliminate the IBMIR. Thrombin-antithrombin complex (TAT) and FVIIa-antithrombin complex (FVIIa-AT) were measured in nine patients who together received 20 infusions of isolated human islets. Both the TAT and FVIIa-AT complexes increased rapidly within 15-60 min after infusion. When the initial TAT and FVIIa-AT levels were plotted against the increase in C-peptide concentration after 7 days, patients with an initially strong IBMIR showed no significant increase in insulin synthesis after 7 days. In conclusion, tissue factor present in both the islets and the culture medium and elicits IBMIR, which affects the function of the transplanted islets.