University of Wisconsin Solution with Trypsin Inhibitor Pefabloc Improves Survival of Viable Human and Primate Impure Islets During Storage

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Background. Recent studies suggest that impure islets (islets which have not been isolated from exocrine tissue and other parts of the pancreas) have great potential for successful transplantation. The evidence that supports this view includes findings that embedded islets (islets surrounded by exocrine tissue) undergo less apoptosis, peripancreatic lymph nodes prevent recurrence of IDDM (insulin dependent diabetes mellitus), and that islet yields and insulin content decrease during the purification process. Improved protocols have also been developed to prevent allorejection of impure islets. Despite these promising results, the storage of impure islets remains difficult, and was a method sought to decrease storage losses.

Methods. Storage methods of impure human and non-human primate islets were compared, using either culture media or University of Wisconsin solution (UW). The effects of trypsin inhibition using Pefabloc (Roche Molecular Biochemicals, Indianapolis, IN) during storage period were also examined.

Results. Low temperature and inhibition of trypsin activity during storage of impure islets improved both islet yield and viability. It was found that using UW solution and trypsin inhibition allowed perfect preservation of viable impure islets up to 48 h. A functional assay by glucose stimulation test showed these impure islet responded to glucose stimulation after 24 h.

Conclusion. The benefits of storing impure islets using UW solution and Pefabloc at low temperature have been established. This improved method of preserving impure islets makes this model of transplantation even more viable.

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