Espes D, Lau J, Quach M, Ullsten S, Christoffersson G, Carlsson PO
American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons 16 (11) 3246-3254 [2016-11-00; online 2016-07-22]
Transplantation of islets into the liver confers several site-specific challenges, including a delayed vascularization and prevailing hypoxia. The greater omentum has in several experimental studies been suggested as an alternative implantation site for clinical use, but there has been no direct functional comparison to the liver. In this experimental study in mice, we characterized the engraftment of mouse and human islets in the omentum and compared engraftment and functional outcome with those in the intraportal site. The vascularization and innervation of the islets transplanted into the omentum were restored within the first month by paralleled ingrowth of capillaries and nerves. The hypoxic conditions in the islets early posttransplantation were transient and restricted to the first days. Newly formed blood vessels were fully functional, and the blood perfusion and oxygenation of the islets became similar to that of endogenous islets. Furthermore, islet grafts in the omentum showed at 1 month posttransplantation functional superiority to intraportally transplanted grafts. We conclude that in contrast to the liver the omentum provides excellent engraftment conditions for transplanted islets. Future studies in humans will be of great interest to investigate the capability of this site to also harbor larger grafts without interfering with islet functionality.