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J Transplant. 2011;2011:594851. doi: 10.1155/2011/594851. Epub 2011 Oct 24.

Improving islet engraftment by gene therapy.

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1
Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4E3.

Abstract

Islet cell transplantation is currently the only feasible long-term treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes. However, the majority of transplanted islets experience damage and apoptosis during the isolation process, a blood-mediated inflammatory microenvironment in the portal vein upon islet infusion, hypoxia induced by the low oxygenated milieu, and poor-revascularization-mediated lack of nutrients, and impaired hormone modulation in the local transplanted site. Strategies using genetic modification methods through overexpression or silencing of those proteins involved in promoting new formation of blood vessels or inhibition of apoptosis may overcome these hurdles and improve islet engraftment outcomes.

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