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Hepatogastroenterology. 2007 Sep;54(78):1617-21.

The effect of transgenic expression of TGF-beta1 on transplanted islet graft survival.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, Institute of Health Bioscience, The University of Tokushima Graduate School, 3-18-15 Kuramoto Tokushima 770-8501, Japan.



Transgenic mice expressing the active form of porcine TGF-beta1 (NOD- TGF-beta1 Tg) were completely protected from autoimmune diabetes in the NOD genetic background in our previous study. Here, we attempted to determine whether transgenic expression of TGF-beta1 in transplanted islets prevents autoimmune destruction in NOD mice.


We transplanted islets to the subcapsular region of the kidney using NOD-TGF-beta1 Tg and NOD mice as donor and recipient or vice versa. Cyclophosphamide was administered twice to streptozocin-induced diabetic females NOD-TGF-beta1 Tg or their female littermates after islet transplantation.


All islets grafts of NOD-TGF-beta1 Tg in spontaneously diabetic NOD mice were rejected earlier than those of their littermates. Hyperglycemia was induced in all littermates, but three out of four NOD-TGF-beta1 Tg, which were STZ-induced diabetic female mice, remained normoglycemic in response to the administration of cyclophosphamide after islet transplantation.


Our results lack direct evidence for the local paracrine TGF-beta1 to protect the transplanted islet grafts. We observed, however, prolonged survival of NOD islets grafts in diabetic NOD-TGF-beta1 Tg suggesting the protective role of transgenic TGF-beta1 to suppress the autoimmune process in our syngenic transplantation model. We are convinced that this data could help resolve many problems regarding islet transplantation for type 1 diabetes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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