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Islet transplantation in rodents: do encapsulated islets really work?

DOI: 10.1590/S0004-28032011000200011

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, type i, islets of langerhans transplantation, rodentia.

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Abstract:

context: diabetes mellitus type i affects around 240 million people in the world and only in the usa 7.8% of the population. it has been estimated that the costs of its complications account for 5% to 10% of the total healthcare spending around the world. according to world health organization, 300 million people are expected to develop diabetes mellitus by the year 2025. the pancreatic islet transplantation is expected to be less invasive than a pancreas transplant, which is currently the most commonly used approach. objectives: to compare the encapsulated and free islet transplantation in rodents looking at sites of islet implantation, number of injected islets, viability and immunosuppression. methods: a literature search was conducted using medline/pubmed and scielo with terms about islet transplantation in the rodent from 2000 to 2010. we found 2,636 articles but only 56 articles from 2000 to 2010 were selected. results: in these 56 articles used, 34% were encapsulated and 66% were nonencapsulated islets. analyzing both types of islets transplantation, the majority of the encapsulated islets were implanted into the peritoneal cavity and the nonencapsulated islets into the liver, through the portal vein. in addition, the great advantage of the peritoneal cavity as the site of islet transplantation is its blood supply. both vascular endothelial cells and vascular endothelial growth factor were used to stimulate angiogenesis of the islet grafts, increasing the vascularization rapidly after implantation. it also has been proven that there is influence of the capsules, since the larger the capsule more chances there are of central necrosis. in some articles, the use of immunosuppression demonstrated to increase the life expectancy of the graft. conclusion: while significant progress has been made in the islets transplantation field, many obstacles remain to be overcome. microencapsulation provides a means to transplant islets without immunosuppressive agents and may

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