If pancreatic islet transplantation becomes clinically applicable, cryogenic storage of human islet preparations could solve many problems related to transportation and banking of islets, HLA matching, recipient pretreatment, or the possible use of multiple donors. The diabetic nude mouse could offer a simple model to test in vivo the function of cryopreserved human islet preparations before transplantation into diabetic patients. In this study, 6 nude mice made diabetic by an intravenous injection of streptozocin were transplanted with 400-600 cryopreserved human islets beneath the renal capsule. All the mice became normoglycemic within 3 weeks from transplantation. Nephrectomy of the kidneys bearing the grafts 45 days after transplantation resulted in an immediate return to the diabetic state, demonstrating that the only functional tissue was located in the excised kidneys. Histologic study of the renal subcapsular grafts demonstrated morphologic integrity of the islets with a normal degree of beta granulation. The results demonstrated that cryopreserved human islets will function in diabetic nude mice. This model to test human islet preparationsin vivomay be of assistance in the application of cryopreserved islet transplantation in diabetic patients.
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