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Cibinetide Protects Isolated Human Islets in a Stressful Environment and Improves Engraftment in the Perspective of Intra Portal Islet Transplantation

  • Yao, Ming1
  • Domogatskaya, Anna1
  • Ågren1, Nils1
  • Watanabe, Masaaki1
  • Tokodai, Kazuaki1
  • Brines, Michael2
  • Cerami, Anthony2
  • Ericzon, Bo-Göran1
  • Kumagai-Braesch, Makiko1
  • Lundgren, Torbjörn1
  • 1 Division of Transplantation Surgery, CLINTEC, Karolinska Institutet, and Department of Transplantation Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital Huddinge, 141 86 Stockholm, Sweden
  • 2 Araim Pharmaceuticals, Tarrytown, NY 105 91, USA
Published Article
Cell Transplantation
SAGE Publications
Publication Date
Sep 09, 2021
DOI: 10.1177/09636897211039739
PMID: 34498509
PMCID: PMC8436319
PubMed Central
  • Original Article


During intra-portal pancreatic islet transplantation (PITx), innate immune reactions such as the instant blood mediated inflammatory reaction (IBMIR) cause an immediate loss of islets. The non-hematopoietic erythropoietin analogue cibinetide has previously shown islet-protective effects in mouse PITx. Herein, we aimed to confirm cibinetide’s efficacy on human islets, and to characterize its effect on IBMIR. We cultured human islets with pro-inflammatory cytokines for 18 hours with or without cibinetide. ATP content and caspase 3/7 activity were measured. Dynamic glucose perfusion assay was used to evaluate islet function. To evaluate cibinetides effect on IBMIR, human islets were incubated in heparinized polyvinyl chloride tubing system with ABO compatible blood and rotated for 60 minutes to mimic the portal vein system. Moreover, human islets were transplanted into athymic mice livers via the portal vein with or without perioperative cibinetide treatment. The mice were sacrificed six days following transplantation and the livers were analyzed for human insulin and serum for human C-peptide levels. Histological examination of recipient livers to evaluate islet graft infiltration by CD11b+ cells was performed. Our results show that cibinetide maintained human islet ATP levels and reduced the caspase 3/7 activity during culture with pro-inflammatory cytokines and improved their insulin secreting capacity. In the PVC loop system, administration of cibinetide reduced the IBMIR-induced platelet consumption. In human islet to athymic mice PITx, cibinetide treatment showed an increased amount of human insulin in the livers and higher serum human C-peptide, while histological examination of the livers showed reduced infiltration of pro-inflammatory CD11b+ cells around islets grafts compared to the controls. In summary, Cibinetide protected isolated human islets in a pro-inflammatory milieu and reduced IBMIR related platelet consumption. It improved engraftment of human islets in athymic mice. The study confirms that cibinetide is a promising agent to be used in clinical PITx.

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