Nonhuman primate models of islet transplantation: Preclinical testing of novel immunotherapies

N. S. Kenyon, N. M. Kenyon, C. Ricordi

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review


Studies in rodent models provide key insights into the pathways that regulate immune responses to foreign antigens, including transplanted tissues. In addition, spontaneous and induced models of autoimmunity in these species allow for dissection of cellular and molecular routes to disease, translation of the results to larger animal models (e.g., nonhuman primates) and humans, however, is rarely straightforward. Clinically islet cell transplantation has resulted in reversal of hyperglycemia and normalization of metabolic control, without the occurrence of hypoglycemia, in a limited number of patients. The immunosuppressive agents that work well for solid organ transplantation only rarely lead to insulin independence and long-term islet allograft survival. The reasons for this disappointing success rate include rejection, recurrence of autoimmunity early islet loss as a consequence of nonspecific inflammatory events that occur upon intrahepatic islet transplantation, and the adverse effects of conventional immunosuppressive drugs on islet cell function. The introduction of novel immunomodulatory agents has, for the first time, recently led to advances in our ability to consistently prevent rejection and allow for long-term insulin independence in nonhuman primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-186
Number of pages4
JournalDiabetes Reviews
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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