Progressive islet graft failure occurs significantly earlier in autoantibody-positive than in autoantibody-negative IDDM recipients of intrahepatic islet allografts

Clemens Jaeger, Mathias D. Brendel, Bernhard J. Hering, Michael Eckhard, Reinhard G. Bretzel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations

Abstract

Alloimmunity has been uncovered to be a cause of graft loss representing a major barrier for clinical islet transplantation, and several studies are designed to evaluate new strategies for immunosuppression to prevent alloimmunity. In contrast, the significance for autoimmune destruction of transplanted β-cells has remained somewhat controversial. Recently, two case reports based on histological findings have suggested recurrent autoimmune insulitis despite immunosuppressive therapy both in clinical pancreas and in islet transplantation. In the present study, in 23 islet-grafted patients with IDDM receiving standard immunosuppressive therapy, we demonstrate that progressive impairment of islet graft function occurs significantly earlier in those individuals positive for autoantibodies as a typical stigma of diabetes-associated autoimmunity that is well established in the pre-diabetic periods of IDDM. Intraportal infusion of allogeneic islets was performed in 23 C-peptide-negative IDDM patients, according to the clinical transplantation categories defined as islet after kidney (IAK) or simultaneous islet and kidney (SIK). Complete islet graft failure was defined as the 1st day of permanent C-peptide negativity in the serum (<0.2 ng/ml) and C-peptide-negativity in the urine (<2 μg/dl). The median observation period following islet transplantation was 12 months (range 1-50) with a cumulative follow-up of 336 months. Islet cell antibodies (ICAs) and GAD65 antibodies were monitored before and regularly after islet transplantation. Kaplan-Meier survival analysis and log-rank statistics revealed a significant (P < 0.05) difference in cumulative islet graft survival depending on the presence of islet cell and/or GAD65 antibodies. These results strongly suggest that recurrent autoimmunity directed to transplanted β-cells contributes to islet graft failure despite sustained immunosuppression. For successful clinical islet transplantation in the future, new immunosuppressive therapies are needed to prevent both alloimmunity and autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1907-1910
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetes
Volume46
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1997

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