Circulating fats kill transplanted pancreas cells

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Dietary restrictions or other strategies that limit fat formation might make pancreatic cell transplants more effective, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers report.

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Using animal models, the researchers discovered that pancreatic islet cells transplanted into the liver fail not only because of immune rejection, but also because of overexposure to toxic fats that are synthesized by the surrounding liver cells and flood the pancreatic transplants. Their findings appear in the September issue of the journal Diabetes.

To date, a few hundred people have received transplants of complexes of pancreatic cells, called islets. The islets are implanted in the liver, where they at first make insulin, but over months or years their production often declines.

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