Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.287, No.1, 104-109, 2001
Recovery of function and mass of endogenous beta-cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats treated with islet transplantation
Islet transplantation corrects chronic hyperglycemia by augmentation of insulin supply from the graft tissue, but the role of endogenous beta -cells after transplantation is not clear. In the present study, we examined endogenous beta -cell function after glucose homeostasis had been reestablished by islet graft in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Fed plasma glucose levels in diabetic rats transplanted with a large number of islets (2500 islets) into the left kidney capsule soon became lower (139.8 +/- 8.2 mg/dl) and close to the level in controls (129.7 +/- 11.3 mg/dl), and IPGTT exhibited a pattern of plasma glucose response almost identical to control. The insulin and DNA contents, islet area, and the distribution of beta -cells that were markedly deteriorated in islets of STZ rats were significantly restored in transplanted rats. The insulin release in response to glucose or alpha -ketoisocaproate was less in STZ rats, while in islets of transplanted rats the secretion recovered to levels similar to controls. On the other hand, arginine-induced insulin release was conversely hyperresponsive in STZ rats, but in transplanted rats, the response was decreased similar to controls. Thus, as the plasma glucose level normalizes, residual beta -cells show a recovery of function that cannot be accounted for by the increase in mass alone.