Islet Transplantation to the Anterior Chamber of the Eye-A Future Treatment Option for Insulin-Deficient Type-2 Diabetics? A Case Report from a Nonhuman Type-2 Diabetic Primate

Sai Bo Bo Tun, Minni Chua, Riasat Hasan, Martin Köhler, Xiaofeng Zheng, Yusuf Ali, Midhat H. Abdulreda, Lisa Juntti-Berggren, Veluchamy A. Barathi, Per Olof Berggren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Replacement of the insulin-secreting beta cells through transplantation of pancreatic islets to the liver is a promising treatment for type-1 diabetes. However, low oxygen tension, shear stress, and the induction of inflammation lead to significant islet dysfunction and loss. The anterior chamber of the eye (ACE) has gained considerable interest and represents an alternative therapeutic islet transplantation site because of its accessibility, high oxygen tension, and immune-privileged milieu. We have previously demonstrated the feasibility of intraocular islet transplant in mouse and nonhuman primate models of type-1 diabetes and are now assessing its efficacy on glucose homeostasis in a nonhuman primate model of type-2 diabetes. We transplanted allogeneic donor islets (1,500 islet equivalents/kg) into the anterior chamber of one eye in a cynomolgus monkey with high-fat-diet-induced type-2 diabetes. Repeated examinations of the anterior and posterior segments of both eyes were done to monitor the engrafted islets and assess the overall ocular health. Fasting blood glucose level, blood biochemistry, and other metabolic parameters were routinely evaluated to determine the function of the islet graft and diabetes status. The transplanted islets were rapidly engrafted onto the iris and became vascularized 1 month after transplantation. We did not detect changes in intraocular pressure, cataract formation, ophthalmitis, or retinal vessel deformation. A significant lower fasting blood glucose level was observed while the graft was in place, and the transplantation reverts the progression of diabetes. The metabolic markers, hemoglobin A1C and fructosamine, demonstrated improvement following islet transplantation. As a conclusion, intraocular islet transplantation in one eye of a cynomolgus monkey with type-2 diabetes improved its overall plasma glucose homeostasis, as evidenced by short-term measures and long-term metabolic markers. These results further support the future application of the ACE as an alternative site for clinical islet transplants in the context of type-2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)963689720913256
JournalCell transplantation
Volume29
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

Keywords

  • anterior chamber of the eye
  • diet-induced type-2 diabetes
  • intraocular transplant
  • islet transplantation
  • nonhuman primates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cell Biology
  • Transplantation

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