LEA29Y expression in transgenic neonatal porcine islet-like cluster promotes long-lasting xenograft survival in humanized mice without immunosuppressive therapy

L. Wolf-Van Buerck, M. Schuster, F. S. Oduncu, A. Baehr, T. Mayr, S. Guethoff, J. Abicht, B. Reichart, N. Klymiuk, E. Wolf, J. Seissler

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32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Genetically engineered pigs are a promising source for islet cell transplantation in type 1 diabetes, but the strong human anti-pig immune response prevents its successful clinical application. Here we studied the efficacy of neonatal porcine islet-like cell clusters (NPICCs) overexpressing LEA29Y, a high-affinity variant of the T cell co-stimulation inhibitor CTLA-4Ig, to engraft and restore normoglycemia after transplantation into streptozotocin-diabetic NOD-SCID IL2rγ-/- (NSG) mice stably reconstituted with a human immune system. Transplantation of INSLEA29Y expressing NPICCs resulted in development of normal glucose tolerance (70.4%) and long-term maintenance of normoglycemia without administration of immunosuppressive drugs. All animals transplanted with wild-type NPICCs remained diabetic. Immunohistological examinations revealed a strong peri-and intragraft infiltration of wild-type NPICCs with human CD45+ immune cells consisting of predominantly CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes and some CD68+ macrophages and FoxP3+ regulatory T cells. Significantly less infiltrating lymphocytes and only few macrophages were observed in animals transplanted with INSLEA29Y transgenic NPICCs. This is the first study providing evidence that beta cell-specific LEA29Y expression is effective for NPICC engraftment in the presence of a humanized immune system and it has a long-lasting protective effect on inhibition of human anti-pig xenoimmunity. Our findings may have important implications for the development of a low-toxic protocol for porcine islet transplantation in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3572
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes

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