In inbred streptozocin-induced diabetic rats, the long-term function of different endocrine pancreatic isografts was compared. Isolated islets transplanted into the portal vein showed a progressive deterioration of function over time. In contrast, islets under the kidney capsule sustained a constant long-term function controlling all clinical signs of diabetes. Recipients of kidney subcapsular islets displayed normal growth rate, peripheral serum glucose and insulin levels, and metabolic parameters. However, their functional reserve was markedly reduced as revealed by diminished glucose tolerance and reduced insulin-secreting capacity after an intravenous glucose challenge. Vascularized whole-organ pancreatic grafts with portal venous drainage led to complete normalization of all parameters determined in this study. This study showed that the long-term function of islets transplanted under the kidney capsule is superior compared with islets transplanted into the portal vein.

This content is only available via PDF.