BMSCs overexpressed ISL1 reduces the apoptosis of islet cells through ANLN carrying exosome, INHBA, and caffeine

Cell Mol Life Sci. 2022 Oct 3;79(10):538. doi: 10.1007/s00018-022-04571-0.


Early apoptosis of grafted islets is one of the main factors affecting the efficacy of islet transplantation. The combined transplantation of islet cells and bone marrow mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) can significantly improve the survival rate of grafted islets. Transcription factor insulin gene enhancer binding protein 1 (ISL1) is shown to promote the angiogenesis of grafted islets and the paracrine function of mesenchymal stem cells during the co-transplantation, yet the regulatory mechanism remains unclear. By using ISL1-overexpressing BMSCs and the subtherapeutic doses of islets for co-transplantation, we managed to reduce the apoptosis and improve the survival rate of the grafts. Our metabolomics and proteomics data suggested that ISL1 upregulates aniline (ANLN) and Inhibin beta A chain (INHBA), and stimulated the release of caffeine in the BMSCs. We then demonstrated that the upregulation of ANLN and INHBA was achieved by the binding of ISL1 to the promoter regions of the two genes. In addition, ISL1 could also promote BMSCs to release exosomes with high expression of ANLN, secrete INHBA and caffeine, and reduce streptozocin (STZ)-induced islets apoptosis. Thus, our study provides mechanical insight into the islet/BMSCs co-transplantation and paves the foundation for using conditioned medium to mimic the ISL1-overexpressing BMSCs co-transplantation.

Keywords: Apoptosis; BMSCs; ISL1; Islet transplantation.

MeSH terms

  • Aniline Compounds / metabolism
  • Apoptosis / genetics
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Caffeine / pharmacology
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Exosomes*
  • Inhibin-beta Subunits
  • Insulins* / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans* / metabolism
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation*
  • Mesenchymal Stem Cells* / metabolism
  • Streptozocin / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • Aniline Compounds
  • Culture Media, Conditioned
  • Insulins
  • Transcription Factors
  • inhibin beta A subunit
  • Caffeine
  • Streptozocin
  • Inhibin-beta Subunits