Prolonged insulin independence after islet allotransplants in recipients with type 1 diabetes

Am J Transplant. 2008 Nov;8(11):2463-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-6143.2008.02404.x. Epub 2008 Sep 19.


We sought to determine the long-term outcomes in type 1 diabetic recipients of intraportal alloislet transplants on a modified immunosuppressive protocol. Six recipients with hypoglycemia unawareness received one to two islet infusions. Induction therapy was with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) plus etanercept for tumor necrosis factor-alpha blockade. Recipients received cyclosporine and everolimus for maintenance immunosuppression for the first year posttransplant, with mycophenolic acid or mycophenolate mofetil subsequently substituted for everolimus. Recipients have been followed for 1173 +/- 270 days since their last infusion for islet graft function (insulin independence, hemoglobin A(1c) levels and C-peptide production) and for adverse events associated with the study protocol. Of the six recipients, five were insulin-independent at 1 year, and four continue to be insulin-independent at a mean of 3.4 +/- 0.4 years posttransplant. None of the six recipients experienced recurrence of severe hypoglycemia. Measured glomerular filtration rate decreased from 110.5 +/- 21.2 mL/min/1.73 m(2) pretransplant to 82.6 +/-19.1 mL/min/1.73 m(2) at 1 year posttransplant. In conclusion, islet transplants restored insulin independence for a mean of >3 years in four of six recipients treated with ATG and etanercept induction therapy and with cyclosporine and, initially, everolimus for maintenance. Our results suggest this immunosuppressive protocol may allow long-term graft survival.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Antilymphocyte Serum / therapeutic use*
  • Cyclosporine / therapeutic use
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Etanercept
  • Everolimus
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / therapeutic use*
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor / therapeutic use*
  • Recurrence
  • Sirolimus / analogs & derivatives
  • Sirolimus / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / antagonists & inhibitors*


  • Antilymphocyte Serum
  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Immunosuppressive Agents
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • Cyclosporine
  • Everolimus
  • Etanercept
  • Sirolimus