Bioengineering with Endothelial Progenitor Cells Improves the Vascular Engraftment of Transplanted Human Islets.

Grapensparr L, Christoffersson G, Carlsson PO

Cell Transplant 27 (6) 948-956 [2018-06-00; online 2018-06-03]

Pancreatic islets isolated for transplantation are disconnected from their vascular supply and need to establish a new functional network posttransplantation. Due to poor revascularization, prevailing hypoxia with correlating increased apoptosis rates in experimental studies can be observed for months posttransplantation. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) are bone marrow-derived cells that promote neovascularization. The present study tested the hypothesis that EPCs, isolated from human umbilical cord blood, could be coated to human islet surfaces and be used to promote islet vascular engraftment. Control or EPC bioengineered human islets were transplanted into the renal subcapsular space of nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice. Four weeks posttransplantation, graft blood perfusion and oxygen tension were measured using laser Doppler flowmetry and Clark microelectrodes, respectively. Vessel functionality was also assessed by in vivo confocal imaging. The vascular density and the respective contribution of human and recipient endothelium were assessed immunohistochemically by staining for human and mouse CD31. Islet grafts with EPCs had substantially higher blood perfusion and oxygen tension than control transplants. Furthermore, analysis of the vascular network of the grafts revealed that grafts containing EPC bioengineered islets had a superior vascular density compared with control grafts, with functional chimeric blood vessels. We conclude that a simple procedure of surface coating with EPCs provides a possibility to improve the vascular engraftment of transplanted human islets. Established protocols are also easily applicable for intraportal islet transplantation in order to obtain a novel directed cellular therapy at the site of implantation in the liver.

Gustaf Christoffersson

SciLifeLab Fellow

PubMed 29862837

DOI 10.1177/0963689718759474

Crossref 10.1177/0963689718759474

pmc: PMC6050913

Publications 9.5.0