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Experimental Diabesity Research
Volume 5 (2004), Issue 3, Pages 201-210

Gene Combination Transfer to Block Autoimmune Damage in Transplanted Islets of Langerhans

1Division of Immunogenetics, Department of Pediatrics, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Rangos Research Center, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, 3460 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA
2Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
3Department of Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Received 23 October 2003; Accepted 4 April 2004

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Islet transplantation therapy would be applicable to a wider range of diabetic patients if donor islet acceptance and protection were possible without systemic immunosuppression of the recipient. To this aim, gene transfer to isolated donor islets ex vivo is one method that has shown promise. This study examines the combined effect of selected immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory genes known to extend the functional viability of pancreatic islet grafts in an autoimmune system. These genes, indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO), manganese superoxide dismutase (MnSOD), and interleukin (IL)-1 receptor antagonist protein (IRAP), were transferred to isolated NOD donor islets ex vivo then transplanted to NODscid recipients and evaluated in vivo after diabetogenic T-cell challenge. The length of time the recipient remained euglycemic was used to measure the ability of the transgenes to protect the graft from autoimmune destruction. Although the results of these cotransfections gave little evidence of a synergistic relationship, they were useful to show that gene combinations can be used to more efficiently protect islet grafts from diabetogenic T cells.