Effects of Systemic Immunosuppression on Islet Engraftment and Function Into a Subcutaneous Biocompatible Device

S. Marzorati, N. Bocca, R. D. Molano, A. R. Hogan, M. Doni, L. Cobianchi, L. Inverardi, C. Ricordi, A. Pileggi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to explore the effect of sirolimus (Sir) and tacrolimus (Tac) on islets implanted into a subcutaneous (SC), prevascularized device in syngeneic rats. Animals received a 40-day treatment with Tac and Sir (alone or in combination) starting either on day 0 or 40 days after islet transplantation. Controls received no treatment. A 40-day washout period was performed after immunosuppression (IS). Glycemia and intravenous glucose tolerance tests (IVGTT) were assessed at follow-up. In the control group, 75% of recipients achieved stable normoglycemia after islet transplantation, while none reversed diabetes with any IS regimen started on day 0. Graft dysfunction was irreversible after IS withdrawal. Glucose clearance (IVGTT) was significantly impaired among Tac-treated compared with control groups (P <.05 with IS; P <.01 after washout). Among animals with established grafts, islet dysfunction which occurred under IS treatment persisted after washout in animals treated with Tac and Sir plus Tac. When compared with controls, glucose clearance was significantly impaired in the Tac and Tac plus Sir groups before and after IS (P <.01, Tac; P <0.01, Tac plus Sir). Sir and Tac showed profound deleterious effects on islet cell engraftment and function, which may hinder the success of implantation into biohybrid devices. Nondiabetogenic IS protocols must be developed for clinical application of islet transplantation into biohybrid devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)352-353
Number of pages2
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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