Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Journal of Transplantation
Volume 2012, Article ID 736491, 11 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/736491
Review Article

Stem Cells as a Tool to Improve Outcomes of Islet Transplantation

1Section of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology, Department of Pediatrics, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
2Section of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
3Department of Cellular and Integrative Physiology, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
4The Herman B Wells Center for Pediatric Research, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA

Received 17 May 2012; Accepted 2 July 2012

Academic Editor: Thierry Berney

Copyright © 2012 Emily Sims and Carmella Evans-Molina. 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.

Abstract

The publication of the promising results of the Edmonton protocol in 2000 generated optimism for islet transplantation as a potential cure for Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Unfortunately, follow-up data revealed that less than 10% of patients achieved long-term insulin independence. More recent data from other large trials like the Collaborative Islet Transplant Registry show incremental improvement with 44% of islet transplant recipients maintaining insulin independence at three years of follow-up. Multiple underlying issues have been identified that contribute to islet graft failure, and newer research has attempted to address these problems. Stem cells have been utilized not only as a functional replacement for β cells, but also as companion or supportive cells to address a variety of different obstacles that prevent ideal graft viability and function. In this paper, we outline the manners in which stem cells have been applied to address barriers to the achievement of long-term insulin independence following islet transplantation.