Insufficient development of a new intra-islet capillary network after transplantation may be one contributing factor to the failure of islet grafts in clinical transplantation. The present study tested the hypothesis that the angiostatic factor thrombospondin-1 (TSP-1), which is normally present in islets, restricts intra-islet vascular expansion posttransplantation. Pancreatic islets of TSP-1-deficient (TSP-1(-/-)) mice or wild-type islets transfected with siRNA for TSP-1 were transplanted beneath the renal capsule of syngeneic or immunocompromised recipient mice. Both genetically TSP-1(-/-) islets and TSP-1 siRNA-transfected islet cells demonstrated an increased vascular density when compared with control islets 1 month after transplantation. This was also reflected in a markedly increased blood perfusion and oxygenation of the grafts. The functional importance of the improved vascular engraftment was analyzed by comparing glucose-stimulated insulin release from islet cells transfected with either TSP-1 siRNA or scramble siRNA before implantation. These experiments showed that the increased revascularization of grafts composed of TSP-1 siRNA-transfected islet cells correlated to increments in both their first and second phase of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Our findings demonstrate that inhibition of TSP-1 in islets intended for transplantation may be a feasible strategy to improve islet graft revascularization and function.
We are a leading supplier to the global Life Science industry with solutions and services for research, biotechnology development and production, and pharmaceutical drug therapy development and production.