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Clin Immunol. 2011 Feb;138(2):154-61. doi: 10.1016/j.clim.2010.10.008. Epub 2010 Nov 19.

Circulating cytokines are associated with human islet graft function in type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Institute for Clinical Diabetology, German Diabetes Center, Leibniz Center for Diabetes Research at Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany.


Islet cell transplantation has considerable potential as a cure for type 1 diabetes, but recurrent autoimmunity and allograft rejection in which both cytokines play an important role are major obstacles. Using a new approach considering confounders by regression analysis, we investigated circulating cytokines and their association with graft function in type 1 diabetes patients who underwent either simultaneous islet kidney (SIK) or islet after kidney (IAK) transplantation. After transplantation, interleukin (IL)-10 was lower in SIK recipients with subsequent loss of graft function in comparison to recipients maintaining graft function. Before transplantation, high IL-13 and IL-18 concentrations were prospectively associated for subsequent loss of graft function in IAK recipients, whereas in SIK recipients, high macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) concentrations were associated with subsequent loss of graft function. Circulating cytokines are associated with islet graft function in patients with long-standing type 1 diabetes when considering confounders.

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