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Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2011, Article ID 594851, 7 pages
Review Article

Improving Islet Engraftment by Gene Therapy

1Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4E3
2Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4H4

Received 30 June 2011; Accepted 22 August 2011

Academic Editor: Diego Cantarovich

Copyright © 2011 Xiaojie Wang et al. 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 cell transplantation is currently the only feasible long-term treatment option for patients with type 1 diabetes. However, the majority of transplanted islets experience damage and apoptosis during the isolation process, a blood-mediated inflammatory microenvironment in the portal vein upon islet infusion, hypoxia induced by the low oxygenated milieu, and poor-revascularization-mediated lack of nutrients, and impaired hormone modulation in the local transplanted site. Strategies using genetic modification methods through overexpression or silencing of those proteins involved in promoting new formation of blood vessels or inhibition of apoptosis may overcome these hurdles and improve islet engraftment outcomes.