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Novel delivery of pancreatic islet cells to treat insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

, : Novel delivery of pancreatic islet cells to treat insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Clinical Pharmacokinetics 28(6): 471-482

Immune protective devices containing pancreatic islets are designed to treat insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus by providing glycaemic control without immunosuppression. The immune protection is achieved by separating allogeneic or xenogeneic islets from the host by semipermeable membranes that allow only small molecules such as glucose, insulin and nutrients to pass through. Lymphocytes and immunoglobulins are excluded by the membrane and unable to cause rejection of the islets. Three types of immune protective devices, i.e. microcapsules, diffusion chambers and perfusion devices (vascularised artificial pancreas), have been studied. Microcapsules injected into the abdominal cavity in a large quantity achieved glycaemic control, but required a small amount of immunosuppression to prevent fibrosis around the the capsules. A clinical attempt to use microcapsulated human islets in a diabetic patient who has maintained functional kidney allografts has been reported. Intra-abdominal placement of diffusion chambers containing allogeneic islets achieved excellent glycaemic control without immunosuppression in diabetic dogs. However, their use was limited by the eventual breakage of tubular chambers. We have extensively used the vascularized artificial pancreas for treatment of experimental diabetes mellitus. Excellent biocompatibility of the device was evidenced by the extraordinary longevity of the patency of the device in healthy dogs. Long term control of severe diabetes mellitus was achieved in totally pancreatectomised dogs without immunosuppression by devices seeded with allogeneic (canine) and xenogeneic (porcine) islets. The vascularised artificial pancreas could be an excellent alternative to Diabetes Control and Complication Trial (DCCT)-type intensive insulin therapy or pancreatic transplantation by providing tight glycaemic control with minimal exogenous insulin therapy without immunosuppression.


PMID: 7656505

DOI: 10.2165/00003088-199528060-00005

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