Pancreatic Islet Changes in Human Whole Organ Pancreas Explants: What Can Be Learned From Explanted Samples?
Dumbill R., Laurenson-Schafer H., Sharples EJ., Barnes J., Mittal S., Friend PJ., Clark A.
BACKGROUND: Whole pancreas transplantation (Tx) is a successful treatment for type 1 diabetes resulting in independence from antidiabetic therapies. Transplant-related factors contributing to pancreatic islet failure are largely unknown; both recurring insulitis and pancreatitis have been implicated. The aim was to determine if cellular changes in islets and exocrine tissue are evident early in Tx, which could contribute to eventual graft failure using well-preserved tissue of grafts explanted from largely normoglycemic recipients. METHODS: Histological specimens of explants (n = 31), Tx duration 1 day-8 years (median 29 d), cold ischemia time 7.2-17.3 hours (median 11.1 h), donor age 13-54 years (median 38 y) were examined; sections were labeled for inflammation, islet amyloidosis, and tissue fibrosis, and morphometry performed on immunolabeled insulin and glucagon positive islet cells. Data were related to clinical details of donor, recipient, and features of Tx. RESULTS: Islet inflammation consistent with recurrent insulitis was not seen in any sample. Insulin-labeled islet cell proportion decreased with donor age (P