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Qureshi K.M.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Oliver R.J.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Paget M.B.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Murray H.E.,The Islet Research Laboratory | And 2 more authors.
Cell Transplantation | Year: 2011

Chronic systemic immunosuppression in cell replacement therapy restricts its clinical application. This study sought to explore the potential of cell-based immune modulation as an alternative to immunosuppressive drug therapy in the context of pancreatic islet transplantation. Human amniotic epithelial cells (AEC) possess innate anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties that were utilized to create localized immune privilege in an in vitro islet cell culture system. Cellular constructs composed of human islets and AEC (islet/AEC) were bioengineered under defined rotational cell culture conditions. Insulin secretory capacity was validated by glucose challenge and immunomodulatory potential characterized using a peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) proliferation assay. Results were compared to control constructs composed of islets or AEC cultured alone. Studies employing AEC-conditioned medium examined the role of soluble factors, and fluorescence immunocytochemistry was used to identify putative mediators of the immunosuppressive response in isolated AEC monocultures. Sustained, physiologically appropriate insulin secretion was observed in both islets and islet/AEC constructs. Activation of resting PBL proliferation occurred on exposure to human islets alone but this response was significantly (p<0.05) attenuated by the presence of AEC and AEC-conditioned medium. Mitogen (phytohaemagglutinin, 5 μg/ml)-induced PBL proliferation was sustained on contact with isolated islets but abrogated by AEC, conditioned medium, and the islet/AEC constructs. Immunocytochemical analysis of AEC monocultures identified a subpopulation of cells that expressed the proapoptosis protein Fas ligand. This study demonstrates that human islet/AEC constructs exhibit localized immunosuppressive properties with no impairment of β-cell function. The data suggest that transplanted islets may benefit from the immune privilege status conferred on them as a consequence of their close proximity to human AEC. Such an approach may reduce the need for chronic systemic immunosuppression, thus making islet transplantation a more attractive treatment option for the management of insulindependent diabetes. © 2011 Cognizant Comm. Corp. Source

Qureshi K.M.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Lee J.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Paget M.B.,The Islet Research Laboratory | Bailey C.J.,Aston University | And 3 more authors.
Clinical Transplantation | Year: 2015

Modification of human islets prior to transplantation may improve long-term clinical outcome in terms of diabetes management, by supporting graft function and reducing the potential for allo-rejection. Intragraft incorporation of stem cells secreting beta (β)-cell trophic and immunomodulatory factors represents a credible approach, but requires suitable culture methods to facilitate islet alteration without compromising integrity. This study employed a three-dimensional rotational cell culture system (RCCS) to achieve modification, preserve function, and ultimately influence immune cell responsiveness to human islets. Islets underwent intentional dispersal and rotational culture-assisted aggregation with amniotic epithelial cells (AEC) exhibiting intrinsic immunomodulatory potential. Reassembled islet constructs were assessed for functional integrity, and their ability to induce an allo-response in discrete T-cell subsets determined using mixed islet:lymphocyte reaction assays. RCCS supported the formation of islet:AEC aggregates with improved insulin secretory capacity compared to unmodified islets. Further, the allo-response of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) and purified CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell subsets to AEC-bearing grafts was significantly (p < 0.05) attenuated. Rotational culture enables pre-transplant islet modification involving their integration with immunomodulatory stem cells capable of subduing the allo-reactivity of T cells relevant to islet rejection. The approach may play a role in achieving acute and long-term graft survival in islet transplantation. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

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