The Anterior Chamber of the Eye as a Clinical Transplantation Site for the Treatment of Diabetes: A Study in a Baboon Model of Diabetes

Diabetologia. 2011 May;54(5):1121-6. doi: 10.1007/s00125-011-2091-y. Epub 2011 Mar 1.


Aims/hypothesis: The aim of this study was to provide evidence that the anterior chamber of the eye serves as a novel clinical islet implantation site.

Methods: In a preclinical model, allogeneic pancreatic islets were transplanted into the anterior chamber of the eye of a baboon model for diabetes, and metabolic and ophthalmological outcomes were assessed.

Results: Islets readily engrafted on the iris and there was a decrease in exogenous insulin requirements due to insulin secretion from the intraocular grafts. No major adverse effects on eye structure and function could be observed during the transplantation period.

Conclusions/interpretation: Our study demonstrates the long-term survival and function of allogeneic islets after transplantation into the anterior chamber of the eye. The safety and simplicity of this procedure provides support for further studies aimed at translating this technology into the clinic.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anterior Chamber / surgery*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / therapy*
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation / methods*
  • Papio