Successful reversal of spontaneous diabetes in dogs by intraperitoneal microencapsulated islets

P. Soon-Shiong, Edward C Feldman, Richard W Nelson, J. Komtebedde, O. Smidsrod, G. Skjak-Braek, T. Espevik, R. Heintz, M. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


Long-term euglycemia by intraperitoneal transplantation of microencapsulated islets has not been described in the diabetic large animal model. In this study, we report the successful long-term reversal of diabetes by this method in spontaneous diabetic dogs. We have identified fundamental mechanism(s) associated with alginate-based microcapsule fibrosis, and have devised methods to ameliorate this problem. These include the use of purified alginate of low mannuronic acid content and cytokine suppression. Ten insulin-dependent, spontaneous diabetic dogs (insulin requirement 1-4 units/kg/day; absence of circulating C-peptide and diabetic K-values of 0.6±0.4) were entered into the study. Islets from mongrel donor pancreata were isolated and transplanted intraperitoneally either as free islet controls (n=3) or as microencapsulated islet allografts (n=7). In all seven encapsulated islet recipients, euglycemia was achieved within 24 hr (serum glucose falling from 304±117 to 116±72 mg/dl). IVGTT performed 14 days after islet transplant demonstrated normalization of K-values changing from a pretransplant level of 0.6±0.4 to 2.6±0.6. All animals receiving encapsulated islets remained euglycemic, free of the need for exogenous insulin, for a period of 63-172 days, with a median insulin-independence for 105 days. In contrast, recipients receiving free islets rejected their graft within seven days of implantation. In conclusion, this is the first report of long-term successful reversal of spontaneous diabetes in the large animal model by an intraperitoneal injection of encapsulated islets. The potential exists for this form of therapy to be explored in the treatment of type I diabetes in man.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)769-774
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Transplantation


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