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

Mol Ther. 2013 Sep;21(9):1778-86. doi: 10.1038/mt.2013.147. Epub 2013 Jun 14.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Islets of Langerhans Transplantation*
  • Leukocytes, Mononuclear / physiology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / cytology
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / immunology