DOI: 10.3390/cells13010051 ISSN: 2073-4409

A Gelatin Hydrogel Nonwoven Fabric Enhances Subcutaneous Islet Engraftment in Rats

Ryusuke Saito, Akiko Inagaki, Yasuhiro Nakamura, Takehiro Imura, Norifumi Kanai, Hiroaki Mitsugashira, Yukiko Endo Kumata, Takumi Katano, Shoki Suzuki, Kazuaki Tokodai, Takashi Kamei, Michiaki Unno, Kimiko Watanabe, Yasuhiko Tabata, Masafumi Goto
  • General Medicine

Although subcutaneous islet transplantation has many advantages, the subcutaneous space is poor in vessels and transplant efficiency is still low in animal models, except in mice. Subcutaneous islet transplantation using a two-step approach has been proposed, in which a favorable cavity is first prepared using various materials, followed by islet transplantation into the preformed cavity. We previously reported the efficacy of pretreatment using gelatin hydrogel nonwoven fabric (GHNF), and the length of the pretreatment period influenced the results in a mouse model. We investigated whether the preimplantation of GHNF could improve the subcutaneous islet transplantation outcomes in a rat model. GHNF sheets sandwiching a silicone spacer (GHNF group) and silicone spacers without GHNF sheets (control group) were implanted into the subcutaneous space of recipients three weeks before islet transplantation, and diabetes was induced seven days before islet transplantation. Syngeneic islets were transplanted into the space where the silicone spacer was removed. Blood glucose levels, glucose tolerance, immunohistochemistry, and neovascularization were evaluated. The GHNF group showed significantly better blood glucose changes than the control group (p < 0.01). The cure rate was significantly higher in the GHNF group (p < 0.05). The number of vWF-positive vessels was significantly higher in the GHNF group (p < 0.01), and lectin angiography showed the same tendency (p < 0.05). The expression of laminin and collagen III around the transplanted islets was also higher in the GHNF group (p < 0.01). GHNF pretreatment was effective in a rat model, and the main mechanisms might be neovascularization and compensation of the extracellular matrices.

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