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Diabetes. 2003 Sep;52(9):2279-86.

DcR3/TR6 effectively prevents islet primary nonfunction after transplantation.

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Laboratory of Transplantation Immunology, Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Islet primary nonfunction (PNF) is defined as the loss of islet function after transplantation for reasons other than graft rejection. It is a major obstacle to successful and efficient islet transplantation. DcR3/TR6 is a soluble death decoy receptor belonging to the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor family, and it can block apoptosis mediated by several TNF receptor family members such as Fas and LT beta R. In this study, we used TR6 to protect islets from PNF after transplantation. Untreated isogeneic or allogeneic islet transplantation had PNF incidence of 25 and 26.5%, respectively. Administration of TR6 totally prevented PNF in allogeneic islet transplantation. In vitro experiments showed an increased apoptosis among islets that were treated with FasL and gamma-interferon (IFN-gamma) in combination. TR6 significantly reduced such apoptosis. Functional study showed that insulin release was compromised after FasL and IFN-gamma treatment, and the compromise could be prevented with TR6-Fc. This indicates that TR6 indeed protected beta-cells from damage caused by FasL and IFN-gamma. Further in vivo experiments showed that syngeneic islet transplantation between lpr/lpr and gld/gld mice was significantly more efficacious than that conducted between wild-type mice. These results suggest that Fas-mediated apoptosis plays an important role in PNF, and use of TR6 may be a novel strategy to prevent PNF in clinical islet transplantation.

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