Transplantation of Bone Marrow Mesenchymal Stem Cells for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes in a Macaque Model

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Bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are self-renewing, multipotent cells that can migrate to pathological sites and thereby provide a new treatment in diabetic animals. Superparamagnetic iron oxide/4′,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) double-labeled BMSCs were transplanted into the pancreatic artery of macaques to treat type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). The treatment efficiency of BMSCs was also evaluated. After successful induction of the T2DM model, the treatment group received double-labeled BMSCs via the pancreatic artery. Six weeks after BMSC transplantation, the fasting blood glucose and blood lipid levels measured in the treatment group were significantly lower (p < 0.05) than in the model group, although they were not reduced to normal levels (p < 0.05). Additionally, the serum C-peptide levels were significantly increased (p < 0.05). An intravenous glucose tolerance test and C-peptide release test had significant changes to the area under the curve. Within 14 days of the transplantation of labeled cells, the pancreatic and kidney tissue of the treatment group emitted a negative signal that was visible on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Six weeks after transplantation, DAPI signals appeared in the pancreatic and kidney tissue, which indicates that the BMSCs were mainly distributed in damaged tissue. Labeled stem cells can be used to track migration and distribution in vivo by MRI. In conclusion, the transplantation of BMSCs for the treatment of T2DM is safe and effective.

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