Role of blood glucose in cytokine gene expression in early syngeneic islet transplantation

Marta Montolio, Noèlia Téllez, Joan Soler, Eduard Montanya
Cell Transplantation 2007, 16 (5): 517-25
In islet transplantation, local production of cytokines at the grafted site may contribute to the initial nonspecific inflammation response. We have determined whether the metabolic condition of the recipient modulates the cytokine expression in islet grafts in the initial days after transplantation. Normoglycemic and hyperglycemic streptozotocin-diabetic Lewis rats were transplanted with 500 syngeneic islets, an insufficient beta cell mass to restore normoglycemia in hyperglycemic recipients. The expression of IL-1beta, TNF-alpha, IFN-gamma, IL-6, IL-10, and IL-4 genes was determined by real-time PCR in freshly isolated islets, in 24-h cultured islets and in islet grafts on days 1, 3, and 7 after transplantation. IL-1beta mRNA was strongly and similarly increased in normoglycemic and hyperglycemic groups on days 1, 3, and 7 after transplantation compared with freshly isolated and cultured islets. TNF-alpha mRNA was also strongly increased on day 1, and it remained increased on days 3 and 7. IL-6 and IL-10 were not detected in freshly isolated islets, but their expression was clearly enhanced in 24-h cultured islets and islet grafts. IL-6 was further increased in hyperglycemic grafts. IL-10 expression was increased in both normoglycemic and hyperglycemic grafts on day 1 after transplantation, and remained increased in hyperglycemic grafts compared to 24-h cultured islets. IFN-gamma mRNA was barely detected in a few grafts, and IL-4 mRNA was never detected. Thus, the inflammatory response in islet grafts was maximal on day 1 after transplantation, it was sustained, although at lower levels, on days 3 and 7, and it was partly enhanced by hyperglycemia.

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