Inducible VEGF expression by human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal stromal cells reduces the minimal islet mass required to reverse diabetes

E Hajizadeh-Saffar, Y Tahamtani, N Aghdami, K Azadmanesh, M Habibi-Anbouhi, Y Heremans, N De Leu, H Heimberg, P Ravassard, M A Shokrgozar, H Baharvand

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Abstract

Islet transplantation has been hampered by loss of function due to poor revascularization. We hypothesize that co-transplantation of islets with human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal stromal cells that conditionally overexpress VEGF (hESC-MSC:VEGF) may augment islet revascularization and reduce the minimal islet mass required to reverse diabetes in mice. HESC-MSCs were transduced by recombinant lentiviruses that allowed conditional (Dox-regulated) overexpression of VEGF.

HESC-MSC: VEGF were characterized by tube formation assay. After co-transplantation of hESC-MSC:VEGF with murine islets in collagen-fibrin hydrogel in the omental pouch of diabetic nude mice, we measured blood glucose, body weight, glucose tolerance and serum C-peptide. As control, islets were transplanted alone or with non-transduced hESC-MSCs. Next, we compared functional parameters of 400 islets alone versus 200 islets co-transplanted with hESC-MSC:VEGF. As control, 200 islets were transplanted alone. Metabolic function of islets transplanted with hESC-MSC:VEGF significantly improved, accompanied by superior graft revascularization, compared with control groups. Transplantation of 200 islets with hESC-MSC:VEGF showed superior function over 400 islets alone. We conclude that co-transplantation of islets with VEGF-expressing hESC-MSCs allowed for at least a 50% reduction in minimal islet mass required to reverse diabetes in mice. This approach may contribute to alleviate the need for multiple donor organs per patient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9322
Number of pages10
JournalScientific Reports - Nature
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Diabetes
  • Beta Cell
  • Human Embryonic Stem Cells
  • VEGF
  • Transplantation

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