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Clin Exp Immunol. 2006 May;144(2):179-87.

Ischaemia is linked to inflammation and induction of angiogenesis in pancreatic islets.

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  • 1Medical Clinic and Policlinic 3, University Hospital Giessen and Marburg, Justus Liebig University, Rodthohl 6, 35385 Giessen, Germany.


Beta-cell replacement is the only way to restore euglycaemia in patients with type-1 diabetes. Pancreatic tissue, processed for subsequent clinical islet transplantation, is exposed to ischaemia causing injury and death in a large number of islets before and after transplantation. In this review we summarize what is known on the sources of environmental stress for pancreatic islets, such as insufficient oxygen supply during pancreas procurement and in culture prior to intraportal transplantation, nutritional and oxygen deprivation during the isolation process, and the consequences of hyperglycaemia. An increasingly recognized role in the modulation of beta-cell function and these environmental stress factors plays the vascular network of the pancreatic islets. Islet revascularization by angiogenesis is relevant for the survival of the graft subsequent to transplantation. Potential strategies offered by therapeutic induction of revascularization to ameliorate the detrimental impact of these factors on the quality of islet transplants are discussed.

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