Rat, hamster, and rabbit islets were transplanted into diabetic C57BL/B6 mice. The effect on islet xenograft survival of low-temperature culture of the donor islets, αL3T4 treatment of the recipients for seven days, and transplantation of the grafts either in the renal capsule or in the liver via the portal vein was determined. Renal capsule transplants of control rat, hamster, and rabbit islets cultured at 37°C for one day produced normoglycemia in the recipients, with the mean survival time (MST) of the grafts ranging from 14 to 19 days. Low temperature culture alone did not produce a significant increase in the survival time. Treatment of the recipients with αL3T4 produced a marked prolongation of xenograft survival for all three species receiving renal subcapsular transplants of control or low temperature cultured islets. The range of MST was from 34 to 46 days. The intrahepatic site produced an even further prolongation of the survival of concordant rat islet xenografts treated in this manner, with 60% of the recipients still normoglycemic at 100 days after transplantation. This enhancing effect of the intrahepatic site on survival did not occur with the discordant xenografts of hamster and rabbit islets.
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