One of the main obstacles to successful intraportal islet transplantation is the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) elicited by the isolated islets when exposed to fresh human blood. In the present study, we investigated whether intraportal transplantation of pig islets into diabetic athymic mice could be used as a small animal model to study xenogeneic IBMIR in vivo. Adult porcine islets (APIs) or rat islets were implanted into the portal vein or under the renal subcapsular space of diabetic athymic mice. Graft survival and morphology were evaluated by measuring blood glucose levels and by performing immunohistochemical staining, respectively. Transplantation of rat islets, irrespective of implantation site, cured all diabetic athymic mice. APIs transplanted subcapsularly also cured all diabetic athymic mice, while none of the animals transplanted with an equivalent amount of APIs via the portal vein remained normoglycemic for more than 10 days after transplantation. Immunohistochemical staining on day 7 showed that most of intraportally transplanted APIs were entrapped in clots and infiltrated with CD11b+ leukocytes. Intraportal transplantation of APIs into athymic mice induced IBMIR, thus providing a small animal model for studying xenogeneic IBMIR.
- Adult porcine islets
- Athymic mice
- Instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction