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Cell Death Dis. 2010 Apr 22;1:e36. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2010.14.

Protection of rat pancreatic islet function and viability by coculture with rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells.

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Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Research and Application Center, Kocaeli University, Kocaeli, Turkey.


The maintenance of viable and functional islets is critical in successful pancreatic islet transplantation from cadaveric sources. During the isolation procedure, islets are exposed to a number of insults including ischemia, oxidative stress and cytokine injury that cause a reduction in the recovered viable islet mass. A novel approach was designed in which streptozotocin (STZ)-damaged rat pancreatic islets (rPIs) were indirectly cocultured with rat bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (rBM-MSCs) to maintain survival of the cultured rPIs. The results indicated that islets cocultured with rBM-MSCs secreted an increased level of insulin after 14 days, whereas non-cocultured islets gradually deteriorated and cell death occurred. The cocultivation of rBM-MSCs with islets and STZ-damaged islets showed the expression of IL6 and transforming growth factor-β1 in the culture medium, besides the expression of the antiapoptotic genes (Mapkapk2, Tnip1 and Bcl3), implying the cytoprotective, anti-inflammatory and antiapoptotic effects of rBM-SCs through paracrine actions.

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