Biological and Immunomodulatory properties of mesenchymal stromal cells derived from human pancreatic islets

Document Type




Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSC) have now been shown to reside in numerous tissues throughout the body, including the pancreas. Ex vivo culture-expanded MSC derived from many tissues display important interactions with different types of immune cells in vitro and potentially play a significant role in tissue homeostasis in vivo. In this study, we investigated the biologic and immunomodulatory properties of human pancreatic islet-derived MSC.


We culture-expanded MSC from cadaveric human pancreatic islets and characterized them using flow cytometry, differentiation assays and nuclear magnetic resonance-based metabolomics. We also investigated the immunologic properties of pancreatic islet-derived MSC compared with bone marrow (BM) MSC.


Pancreatic islet and BM-derived MSC expressed the same cell-surface markers by flow cytometry, and both could differentiate into bone, fat and cartilage. Metabolomics analysis of MSC from BM and pancreatic islets also showed a similar set of metabolic markers but quantitative polymerase chain reactions showed that pancreatic islet MSC expressed more interleukin(IL)-1b, IL-6, STAT3 and FGF9 compared with BM MSC, and less IL-10. However, similar to BM MSC, pancreatic islet MSC were able to suppress proliferation of allogeneic T lymphocytes stimulated with anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibodies.


Our in vitro analysis shows pancreatic islet-derived MSC have phenotypic, biologic and immunomodulatory characteristics similar, but not identical, to BM-derived MSC. We propose that pancreatic islet-derived MSC could potentially play an important role in improving the outcome of pancreatic islet transplantation by promoting engraftment and creating a favorable immune environment for long-term survival of islet allografts.


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Maternal and Child Health | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health | Women's Health


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