Stem Cell Therapies for Treating Diabetes: Progress and Remaining Challenges.
ABSTRACT: Restoration of insulin independence and normoglycemia has been the overarching goal in diabetes research and therapy. While whole-organ and islet transplantation have become gold-standard procedures in achieving glucose control in diabetic patients, the profound lack of suitable donor tissues severely hampers the broad application of these therapies. Here, we describe current efforts aimed at generating a sustainable source of functional human stem cell-derived insulin-producing islet cells for cell transplantation and present state-of-the-art efforts to protect such cells via immune modulation and encapsulation strategies.
Project description:To date, studies of patients with islet transplantation addressing intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring profile and the flexibility of the graft islet function under different doses of insulin administration, both of which reflect the real daily life of patients, are quite limited. Here, we report a case of a 46-year-old woman who received islet transplantation after kidney transplantation. The patient was followed up over a period of 2 years after initial islet transplantation. Our results show that intermittently scanned continuous glucose monitoring can be useful for monitoring the reduction of glycemic variability, and suggest the appropriate regulation of insulin secretion from graft islets during mixed-meal test by using different doses of exogenous insulin administration. Additionally, during the 2-year observational period, glucagon elevation was detected only at hypoglycemia, whereas the level was within the normal range at normoglycemia or hyperglycemia.
Project description:Islet transplantation is a promising therapeutic option for type 1 diabetes mellitus, yet the current delivery into the hepatic portal vasculature is limited by poor engraftment. Biomaterials have been used as a means to promote engraftment and function at extrahepatic sites, with strategies being categorized as encapsulation or microporous scaffolds that can either isolate or integrate islets with the host tissue, respectively. Although these approaches are typically studied separately using distinct material platforms, herein, we developed nondegradable polyethylene glycol (PEG)-based hydrogels for islet encapsulation or as microporous scaffolds for islet seeding to compare the initial engraftment and function of islets in syngeneic diabetic mice. Normoglycemia was restored with transplantation of islets within either encapsulating or microporous hydrogels containing 700 islet equivalents (IEQ), with transplantation on microporous hydrogels producing lower blood glucose levels at earlier times. A glucose challenge test at 1 month after transplant indicated that encapsulated islets had a delay in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, whereas microporous hydrogels restored normoglycemia in times consistent with native pancreata. Encapsulated islets remained isolated from the host tissue, whereas the microporous scaffolds allowed for revascularization of the islets after transplant. Finally, we compared the inflammatory response after transplantation for the two systems and noted that microporous hydrogels had a substantially increased presence of neutrophils. Collectively, these findings suggest that both encapsulation and microporous PEG scaffold designs allow for stable engraftment of syngeneic islets and the ability to restore normoglycemia, yet the architecture influences islet function and responsiveness after transplantation.
Project description:Islet transplantation is a promising potential therapy for patients with type 1 diabetes. The outcome of islet transplantation depends on the transplantation of a sufficient amount of ?-cell mass. However, the initial loss of islets after transplantation is problematic. We hypothesized the hyperglycemic status of the recipient may negatively affect graft survival. Therefore, in the present study, we evaluated the effect of insulin treatment on islet transplantation involving a suboptimal amount of islets in Akita mice, which is a diabetes model mouse with an Insulin 2 gene missense mutation. Fifty islets were transplanted under the left kidney capsule of the recipient mouse with or without insulin treatment. For insulin treatment, sustained-release insulin implants were implanted subcutaneously into recipient mice 2 weeks before transplantation and maintained for 4 weeks. Islet transplantation without insulin treatment did not reverse hyperglycemia. In contrast, the group that received transplants in combination with insulin treatment exhibited improved fasting blood glucose levels until 18 weeks after transplantation, even after insulin treatment was discontinued. The group that underwent islet transplantation in combination with insulin treatment had better glucose tolerance than the group that did not undergo insulin treatment. Insulin treatment improved graft survival from the acute phase (i.e., 1 day after transplantation) to the chronic phase (i.e., 18 weeks after transplantation). Islet apoptosis increased with increasing glucose concentration in the medium or blood in both the in vitro culture and in vivo transplantation experiments. Expression profile analysis of grafts indicated that genes related to immune response, chemotaxis, and inflammatory response were specifically upregulated when islets were transplanted into mice with hyperglycemia compared to those with normoglycemia. Thus, the results demonstrate that insulin treatment protects islets from the initial rapid loss that is usually observed after transplantation and positively affects the outcome of islet transplantation in Akita mice.
Project description:Although 90% of clinical islet transplantations are performed via the portal vein approach, it is still far from the ideal transplant site. Alternative islet transplant sites are promising to reduce the islet dose required to reverse hyperglycemia, thereby improving the efficiency of islet transplantation. The aim of this study was to compare the differences in survival and metabolic function of islet grafts transplanted into the hepatic sinus tract (HST) and the splenic parenchyma (SP). Approximately 300 syngeneic mouse islets were transplanted into the HST (n = 6) and the SP (n = 6) of recipient diabetic mice, respectively. After transplantation, the glycemic control, glucose tolerance, and morphology of islet grafts were evaluated and compared in each group. The nonfasting blood glucose of the two groups of mice receiving islet transplantation gradually decreased to the normal range and sustained for more than 100 d. There is no significant difference in the time required to restore normoglycemia (P > 0.05). The results of the glucose tolerance test showed that the SP group presented a smaller area under the curve than the HST group (P < 0.05). Histopathological results showed that islet grafts in the HST and the SP were characterized with normal islet morphology and robust insulin production. Compared with the HST, islet transplantation in the SP presents better blood glucose regulation, although there is no significant difference in the time required to restore normoglycemia.
Project description:Islet cell transplantation is curative therapy for patients with complicated autoimmune type 1 diabetes (T1D). We report the diagnostic potential of circulating transplant islet-specific exosomes to noninvasively distinguish pancreatic ? cell injury secondary to recurrent autoimmunity vs immunologic rejection. A T1D patient with hypoglycemic unawareness underwent islet transplantation and maintained normoglycemia until posttransplant day 1098 before requiring exogenous insulin. Plasma analysis showed decreased donor islet exosome quantities on day 1001, before hyperglycemia onset. This drop in islet exosome quantity signified islet injury, but did not distinguish injury type. However, analysis of purified transplant islet exosome cargoes showed decrease in insulin-containing exosomes, but not glucagon-containing exosomes, indicating selective destruction of transplanted ? cells secondary to recurrent T1D autoimmunity. Furthermore, donor islet exosome cargo analysis showed time-specific increase in islet autoantigen, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), implicated in T1D autoimmunity. Time-matched analysis of plasma transplant islet exosomes in 3 control subjects undergoing islet cell transplantation failed to show changes in islet exosome quantities or intraexosomal cargo expression of insulin, glucagon, and GAD65. This is the first report of noninvasive diagnosis of recurrent autoimmunity after islet cell transplantation, suggesting that transplant tissue exosome platform may serve as a biomarker in islet transplant diagnostics.
Project description:Islet transplantation has proven to be a successful strategy to restore normoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, the dearth of cadaveric islets available for transplantation hampers the widespread application of this treatment option. Although human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells are capable of generating insulin-producing cells in vitro when provided with the appropriate inductive cues, the insulin-expressing cells that develop behave more like immature ?-cells with minimal sensitivity to glucose stimulation. Here, we identify a set of signaling factors expressed in mouse embryonic mesenchyme during the time when foregut and pancreatic progenitors are specified and test their activities during in vitro differentiation of human embryonic stem cells. Several of the identified factors work in concert to expand the pancreatic progenitor pool. Interestingly, transforming growth factor (TGF)-? ligands, most potent in inducing pancreatic progenitors, display strong inhibitory effects on subsequent endocrine cell differentiation. Treatment with TGF-? ligands, followed by the addition of a TGF-? receptor antagonist, dramatically increased the number of insulin-producing cells in vitro, demonstrating the need for dynamic temporal regulation of TGF-? signaling during in vitro differentiation. These studies illustrate the need to precisely mimic the in vivo conditions to fully recapitulate pancreatic lineage specification in vitro.
1000-01-01 | S-EPMC3636645 | BioStudies
Project description:Pancreatic islet transplantation still represents a promising therapeutic strategy for curative treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, a limited number of organ donors and insufficient vascularization with islet engraftment failure restrict the successful transfer of this approach into clinical practice. To overcome these problems, we herein introduce a novel strategy for the generation of prevascularized islet organoids by the fusion of pancreatic islet cells with functional native microvessels. These insulin-secreting organoids exhibit a significantly higher angiogenic activity compared to freshly isolated islets, cultured islets and non-prevascularized islet organoids. This is caused by paracrine signaling between the ?-cells and the microvessels, mediated by insulin binding to its corresponding receptor on endothelial cells. In vivo, the prevascularized islet organoids are rapidly blood-perfused after transplantation by the interconnection of their autochthonous microvasculature with surrounding blood vessels. As a consequence, a lower number of islet grafts is required to restore normoglycemia in diabetic mice. Thus, prevascularized islet organoids may be used to improve the success rates of clinical islet transplantation.
Project description:Pancreatic islet transplantation still represents a promising therapeutic strategy for curative treatment of type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, a limited number of organ donors and insufficient vascularization with islet engraftment failure restrict the successful transfer of this approach into clinical practice. To overcome these problems, we herein introduce a novel strategy for the generation of prevascularized islet organoids by the fusion of pancreatic islet cells with functional native microvessels. These insulin-secreting organoids exhibit a significantly higher angiogenic activity compared to freshly isolated islets, cultured islets, and non-prevascularized islet organoids. This is caused by paracrine signaling between the ?-cells and the microvessels, mediated by insulin binding to its corresponding receptor on endothelial cells. In vivo, the prevascularized islet organoids are rapidly blood-perfused after transplantation by the interconnection of their autochthonous microvasculature with surrounding blood vessels. As a consequence, a lower number of islet grafts are required to restore normoglycemia in diabetic mice. Thus, prevascularized islet organoids may be used to improve the success rates of clinical islet transplantation.
Project description:Islet transplantation is an effective therapy for achieving and maintaining normoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. However, the supply of transplantable human islets is limited. Upon removal from the pancreas, islets rapidly disintegrate and lose function, resulting in a short interval for studies of islet biology and pretransplantation assessment. Here, we developed a biomimetic platform that can sustain human islet physiology for a prolonged period ex vivo. Our approach involved the creation of a multichannel perifusion system to monitor dynamic insulin secretion and intracellular calcium flux simultaneously, enabling the systematic evaluation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion under multiple conditions. Using this tool, we developed a nanofibrillar cellulose hydrogel-based islet-preserving platform (iPreP) that can preserve islet viability, morphology, and function for nearly 12 weeks ex vivo, and with the ability to ameliorate glucose levels upon transplantation into diabetic hosts. Our platform has potential applications in the prolonged maintenance of human islets, providing an expanded time window for pretransplantation assessment and islet studies.
Project description:Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by permanent destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic ? cells and requires lifelong exogenous insulin therapy. Recently, islet transplantation has been developed, and although there have been significant advances, this approach is not widely used clinically due to the poor survival rate of the engrafted islets. We hypothesized that improving survival of engrafted islets through ex vivo genetic engineering could be a novel strategy for successful islet transplantation. We transduced islets with adenoviruses expressing betacellulin, an epidermal growth factor receptor ligand, which promotes ?-cell growth and differentiation, and transplanted these islets under the renal capsule of streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice. Transplantation with betacellulin-transduced islets resulted in prolonged normoglycemia and improved glucose tolerance compared with those of control virus-transduced islets. In addition, increased microvascular density was evident in the implanted islets, concomitant with increased endothelial von Willebrand factor immunoreactivity. Finally, cultured islets transduced with betacellulin displayed increased proliferation, reduced apoptosis and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in the presence of cytokines. These experiments suggest that transplantation with betacellulin-transduced islets extends islet survival and preserves functional islet mass, leading to a therapeutic benefit in type 1 diabetes.