Heterogeneity and neurovascular integration of intraportally transplanted islets revealed by 3-D mouse liver histology.

American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism
Chien-Chia ChenShiue-Cheng Tang


Intraportal islet transplantation has been clinically applied for treatment of unstable type 1 diabetes. However, in the liver, systematic assessment of the dispersed islet grafts and the graft-hepatic integration remains difficult, even in animal models. This is due to the lack of global and in-depth analyses of the transplanted islets and their microenvironment. Here, we apply three-dimensional (3-D) mouse liver histology to investigate the islet graft microstructure, vasculature, and innervation. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice were used in syngeneic intraportal islet transplantation to achieve euglycemia. Optically cleared livers were prepared to enable 3-D morphological and quantitative analyses of the engrafted islets. 3-D image data reveal the clot- and plaque-like islet grafts in the liver: the former are derived from islet emboli and associated with ischemia, whereas the latter (minority) resemble the plaques on the walls of portal vessels (e.g., at the bifurcation) with mild, if any, perigraft tissue damage. Three weeks after transplantation, both types of grafts are revascularized, yet significantly more lymphatics are associated with the plaque- than clot-like grafts. Regarding the islet reinnervation, both typ...Continue Reading


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