Preparation of Fetal Islets for Transplantation: Importance of Growth Factors

  • Debra A. Hullett
  • Debra A. MacKenzie
  • Tausif Alam
  • Hans W. Sollinger


It is estimated that approximately 1.4 million people in the United States suffer from insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Daily insulin therapy and whole organ pancreas transplantation are the only treatments currently available. Results of the diabetes complications and control trial have indicated that while tight control of circulating glucose levels significantly reduced the complications associated with IDDM, it does not prevent them. Insulin replacement therapy is not sufficient to prevent the macrovascular and microvascular complications that make IDDM the third leading cause of death. Pancreas transplant suffers from a shortage of donor organs and requires that the recipient be placed on lifelong immunosuppressive therapy. Adult islet transplantation has met with little success and also suffers from a shortage of donor organs and the need for potent immunosuppression. In contrast, human fetal pancreas (HFP) is readily available, has the potential for further growth and differentiation following transplantation and can be cultured in vitro. This gives HFP the potential for immunologic manipulation such that immunosuppressive therapy may be significantly reduced or eliminated. The growth and differentiation of HFP may be accelerated with short-term culture in growth factors.


Beta Cell Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus Adenine Nucleotide Translocator Beta Cell Replication Adult Islet 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra A. Hullett
    • 1
  • Debra A. MacKenzie
    • 1
  • Tausif Alam
    • 1
  • Hans W. Sollinger
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA

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