Library - Diabetes type 1

Stem Cells Int. 2016;2016:3764681. doi: 10.1155/2016/3764681. Epub 2016 Mar 7.

Regenerative Therapy of Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus: From Pancreatic Islet Transplantation to Mesenchymal Stem Cells.

Rekittke NE1Ang M1Rawat D1Khatri R1Linn T1.

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1Clinical Research Unit, Zentrum für Innere Medizin, Fachbereich Medizin, Justus Liebig Universität Giessen, 35392 Giessen, Germany.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease resulting in the permanent destruction of pancreatic islets. Islet transplantation to portal vein provides an approach to compensate for loss of insulin producing cells. Clinical trials demonstrated that even partial islet graft function reduces severe hypoglycemic events in patients. However, therapeutic impact is restrained due to shortage of pancreas organ donors and instant inflammation occurring in the hepatic environment of the graft. We summarize on what is known about regenerative therapy in type 1 diabetes focusing on pancreatic islet transplantation and new avenues of cell substitution. Metabolic pathways and energy production of transplanted cells are required to be balanced and protection from inflammation in their intravascular bed is desired. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have anti-inflammatory features, and so they are interesting as a therapy for type 1 diabetes. Recently, they were reported to reduce hyperglycemia in diabetic rodents, and they were even discussed as being turned into endodermal or pancreatic progenitor cells. MSCs are recognized to meet the demand of an individual therapy not raising the concerns of embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells for therapy.

Diabetes. 2008 Jul;57(7):1759-67. doi: 10.2337/db08-0180.

Immunomodulation by mesenchymal stem cells: a potential therapeutic strategy for type 1 diabetes.

Abdi R1Fiorina PAdra CNAtkinson MSayegh MH.

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1Transplantation Research Center, Renal Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are pluripotent stromal cells that have the potential to give rise to cells of diverse lineages. Interestingly, MSCs can be found in virtually all postnatal tissues. The main criteria currently used to characterize and identify these cells are the capacity for self-renewal and differentiation into tissues of mesodermal origin, combined with a lack in expression of certain hematopoietic molecules. Because of their developmental plasticity, the notion of MSC-based therapeutic intervention has become an emerging strategy for the replacement of injured tissues. MSCs have also been noted to possess the ability to impart profound immunomodulatory effects in vivo. Indeed, some of the initial observations regarding MSC protection from tissue injury once thought mediated by tissue regeneration may, in reality, result from immunomodulation. Whereas the exact mechanisms underlying the immunomodulatory functions of MSC remain largely unknown, these cellshave been exploited in a variety of clinical trials aimed at reducing the burden of immune-mediated disease. This article focuses on recent advances that have broadened our understanding of the immunomodulatory properties of MSC and provides insight as to their potential for clinical use as a cell-based therapy for immune-mediated disorders and, in particular, type 1 diabetes.

World J Stem Cells. 2014 Apr 26;6(2):163-72. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v6.i2.163.

Mesenchymal stem cells help pancreatic islet transplantation to control type 1 diabetes.

Figliuzzi M1Bonandrini B1Silvani S1Remuzzi A1.

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1Marina Figliuzzi, Barbara Bonandrini, Sara Silvani, Andrea Remuzzi, Department of Biomedical Engineering, IRCCS-Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche Mario Negri, 24126 Bergamo, Italy.


Islet cell transplantation has therapeutic potential to treat type 1 diabetes, which is characterized by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic islet β cells. It represents a minimal invasive approach for β cell replacement, but long-term blood control is still largely unachievable. This phenomenon can be attributed to the lack of islet vasculature and hypoxic environment in the immediate post-transplantation period that contributes to the acute loss of islets by ischemia. Moreover, graft failures continue to occur because of immunological rejection, despite the use of potent immunosuppressive agents. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) have the potential to enhance islet transplantation by suppressing inflammatory damage and immune mediated rejection. In this review we discuss the impact of MSCs on islet transplantation and focus on the potential role of MSCs in protecting islet grafts from early graft failure and from autoimmune attack.

KEYWORDS: Immune modulation; Islet transplantation; Mesenchymal stem cell; Type 1 diabetes; Vascularization