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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Pancreatic stem cells can maintain the islet structure in vitro, reduce necrosis and apoptosis of islet cells, in vitro prolong islet survival, and keep islet activity.

OBJECTIVE:

To observe the possibility of preserving viability of islets in vivo by co-transplanting fetal rat pancreatic stem cells and islets so as to improve the outcome of islet transplantation.

METHODS:

Thirty-five adult rats were randomly divided into five groups, including co-transplantation, islet transplantation alone, pancreatic stem cell transplantation alone, diabetes control and normal control groups. Diabetic models were established in the former four groups by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin-citrate buffer. Pancreatic stem cells from the fetal rats at pregnant 16 days or islets from adult Sprague-Dawley rats.

RESULTS AND CONCLUSION:

In the co-transplantation group, the levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin returned to the normal after 5 days of co-transplantation, and the survival time of islets was (18.2±2.4) days. In the islet transplantation alone group, the level of blood glucose was reduced to normal after 1 week of transplantation, and the survival time of islets was (14.4 ±2.1) days. Significant different was found between the survival time of islets between this two groups (P < 0.05). However, the level of blood glucose was still abnormal in the other groups. These findings indicate that the co-transplantation of fetal rat pancreatic stem cells and islets can prolong the survival time of islets in vivo, protect viability of islets and improve the outcome of islet transplantation.

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