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Surgery. 1986 Aug;100(2):334-41.

Transplantation of cultured pancreatic islets to BB rats.


Pancreatic islets held in tissue culture before transplantation into artificially induced diabetics are not rejected. In animals and human identical twin transplants, the autoimmunity of naturally occurring diabetes may destroy islets, even if rejection is avoided. Therefore we studied whether autoimmune damage of islets can be avoided by pretransplant culture. Recipients were BB rats, which spontaneously developed diabetes. Donors were either Wistar Furth (WF) (major histocompatibility [MHC] identical to BB rats) or Lewis (MHC nonidentical to BB rats). Islets were inoculated into the portal vein either immediately after isolation or after 14 days in tissue culture (95% air, 5% CO2, 24 degrees C). Recipients of cultured islets received a single injection of 1 ml of antilymphocyte serum at the time of transplant. Recurrence of diabetes after transplantation of freshly isolated MHC incompatible Lewis islets occurred rapidly on the basis of rejection or autoimmune damage (or both). Precultured Lewis islets had prolonged or permanent survival. Freshly isolated MHC compatible WF islets were destroyed, and no improvement was seen with culture. We conclude that autoimmune destruction of transplanted islets can be avoided by tissue culture, as can rejection. This is important because this strategy is effective only if recipient and donor differ at the MHC locus. Islet donors may need to be selected on the basis of disparity of histocompatibility factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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