Background/aims: Pancreatic islet transplantation is an effective treatment for Type 1 diabetic patients to eliminate insulin injections; however, a shortage of donor organs hinders the widespread use. Although long-term islet storage, such as cryopreservation, is considered one of the key solutions, transplantation of cryopreserved islets is still not practical due to the extensive loss during the cryopreservation-rewarming process. We have previously reported that culturing islets in a hyperoxic environment is an effective treatment to prevent islet death from the hypoxic injury during culture. In this study, we explored the effectiveness of thawing and rewarming cryopreserved islets in a hyperoxic environment.
Methods: Following cryopreservation of isolated human islets, the thawing solution and culture media were prepared with or without pre-equilibration to 50% oxygen. Thawing/rewarming and the pursuant two-day culture were performed with or without oxygenation. Short-term recovery rate, defined as the volume change during cryopreservation and thawing/rewarming, was assessed. Ischemia-associated and inflammation-associated gene expressions were examined using qPCR after the initial rewarming period. Long-term recovery rate, defined as the volume change during the two-day culture after the thawing/rewarming, was also examined. Islet metabolism and function were assessed by basal oxygen consumption rate and glucose stimulated insulin secretion after long-term recovery.
Results: Oxygenated thawing/rewarming did not alter the short-term recovery rate. Inflammation-associated gene expressions were elevated by the conventional thawing/rewarming method and suppressed by the oxygenated thawing/rewarming, whereas ischemia-associated gene expressions did not change between the thawing/rewarming methods. Long-term recovery rate experiments revealed that only the combination therapy of oxygenated thawing/rewarming and oxygenated culture alleviated islet volume loss. These islets showed higher metabolism and better function among the conditions examined.
Conclusion: Oxygenated thawing/rewarming alleviated islet volume loss, with the help of oxygenated culture.
Keywords: Cryopreservation; Oxygenation; Pancreatic islet; Rewarming injury.
Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Inc.