Anti-Inflammatory Strategies in Intrahepatic Islet Transplantation: A Comparative Study in Preclinical Models

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Abstract

Background

The identification of pathway(s) playing a pivotal role in peritransplant detrimental inflammatory events represents the crucial step toward a better management and outcome of pancreatic islet transplanted patients. Recently, we selected the CXCR1/2 inhibition as a relevant strategy in enhancing pancreatic islet survival after transplantation.

Methods

Here, the most clinically used anti-inflammatory compounds (IL1-receptor antagonist, steroids, and TNF-α inhibitor) alone or in combination with a CXCR1/2 inhibitor were evaluated in their ability to improve engraftment or delay graft rejection. To rule out bias related to transplantation site, we used well-established preclinical syngeneic (250 C57BL/6 equivalent islets in C57BL/6) and allogeneic (400 Balb/c equivalent islets in C57BL6) intrahepatic islet transplantation platforms.

Results

In mice, we confirmed that targeting the CXCR1/2 pathway is crucial in preserving islet function and improving engraftment. In the allogeneic setting, CXCR1/2 inhibitor alone could reduce the overall recruitment of transplant-induced leukocytes and significantly prolong the time to graft rejection both as a single agent and in combination with immunosuppression. No other anti-inflammatory compounds tested (IL1-receptor antagonist, steroids, and TNF-α inhibitor) alone or in combination with CXCR1/2 inhibitor improve islet engraftment and significantly delay graft rejection in the presence of MMF + FK-506 immunosuppressive treatment.

Conclusions

These findings indicate that only the CXCR1/2-mediated axis plays a crucial role in controlling the islet damage and should be a target for intervention to improve the efficiency of islet transplantation.

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