Improved coating of pancreatic islets with regulatory T cells to create local immunosuppression by using the biotin-polyethylene glycol-succinimidyl valeric acid ester molecule

Transplant Proc. 2014 Jul-Aug;46(6):1967-71. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2014.05.075.


Background: We showed that T regulatory (Treg) cells can be attached to the surface of pancreatic islets providing local immunoprotection. Further optimization of the method can improve coating efficiency, which may prolong graft survival. In this study, we compared the effectiveness of two different molecules used for binding of the Tregs to the surface of pancreatic islets. Our aim was to increase the number of Treg cells attached to islets without compromising islets viability and function.

Methods: The cell surface of human Treg cells and pancreatic islets was modified using biotin-polyethylene glycol-N-hydroxylsuccinimide (biotin-PEG-NHS) or biotin-PEG-succinimidyl valeric acid ester (biotin-PEG-SVA). Then, islets were incubated with streptavidin as islet/Treg cells binding molecule. Treg cells were stained with CellTracker CM-DiL dye and visualized using a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope. The number of Treg cells attached per islets surface area was analyzed by Imaris software. The effect of coating on islet functionality was determined using the glucose-stimulated insulin response (GSIR) assay.

Results: The coating procedure with biotin-PEG-SVA allowed for attaching 40% more Treg cells per 1 μm(2) of islet surface. Although viability was comparable, function of the islets after coating using the biotin-PEG-SVA molecule was better preserved than with NHS molecule. GSIR was 62% higher for islets coated with biotin-PEG-SVA compared to biotin-PEG-NHS.

Conclusion: Coating of islets with Treg cells using biotin-PEG-SVA improves effectiveness with better preservation of the islet function. Improvement of the method of coating pancreatic islets with Treg cells could further facilitate the effectiveness of this novel immunoprotective approach and translation into clinical settings.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biotin*
  • Carbocyanines
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppression Therapy
  • Islets of Langerhans / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Pentanoic Acids*
  • Polyethylene Glycols*
  • Streptavidin
  • Succinimides
  • Surface-Active Agents*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory / physiology*
  • Tissue Culture Techniques
  • Tissue Survival


  • 3,3'-dioactadecyl-5,5'-di(4-sulfophenyl)oxacarbocyanine
  • Carbocyanines
  • Pentanoic Acids
  • Succinimides
  • Surface-Active Agents
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Biotin
  • Streptavidin
  • n-pentanoic acid