Third-party mesenchymal stem cells improved human islet transplantation in a humanized diabetic mouse model

Hao Wu, Di Wen, Ram I. Mahato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Human islet transplantation can be a permanent treatment of type 1 diabetes if the immune rejection and primary nonfunction (PNF) of transplanted islet grafts were properly addressed. In this study, we determined whether cotransplantation of human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hBMSCs) could prevent immune rejection and improve human islet transplantation in a humanized NOD scid gamma (NSG) mouse model. Human immunity was rebuilt and maintained in NOD.Cg-Prkdc scid Il2rg tm1Wjl /SzJ (NSG) mice up to 13 weeks after intraperitoneal injection of mature human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The blood glucose control and the levels of serum insulin and c-peptide clearly indicated a better outcome of islet transplantation when islets were cotransplanted with hBMSCs. hBMSCs actively interacted with interleukin-10 (IL-10)-producing CD14 + monocytes to suppress the proliferation and activation of T cells in the PBMC/hBMSC coculture and prevent the T cell recruitment into the transplantation site. hBMSCs also increased the percentage of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells (Tregs) and prevented the cytokine-induced loss-of-function of human islets. Taken together, our studies demonstrated that transplantation of islets with hBMSCs is a promising strategy to improve the outcome of human islet transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1778-1786
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Therapy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Pharmacology
  • Drug Discovery


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