Low Revascularization of Human Islets When Experimentally Transplanted Into the Liver

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Previously, we have found that human islets experimentally transplanted beneath the kidney capsule have lower vascular density than native islets. This study aimed to investigate whether human islets experimentally transplanted into the liver are also poorly revascularized in the same manner as islets at the renal subcapsular site. Human islets were transplanted to nude mice. One month posttransplantation, the islet graft-bearing livers or kidneys were removed, formalin-fixed, and stained with the lectin Bandeiraea (Griffonia) simplicifolia (BS-1) to visualize endothelium. The vascular density in the intraportally transplanted human islets was found to be similarly low as in human islets transplanted beneath the kidney capsule. The intrahepatic human islets were coated with numerous vessels, but few vessels could be seen within the islets. Human islets transplanted intraportally into the liver become poorly revascularized. This could contribute to the loss of function in human islets transplanted into the liver over time.

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