Apoptotic phenomena observed in vitro following isolation and following transplantation contribute significantly to islet graft loss. Strategies to reduce apoptosis of islet tissue prior to and posttransplantation may improve graft survival and function and reduce the amount of tissue necessary to achieve insulin independence. The expression of cytoprotective proteins is one such strategy that may prolong islet survival. In this light, heme-oxygenase 1 (HO-1) upregulation has been studied in both allo- and xenotransplantation models. In this study, the effect of HO-1 on apoptosis in neonatal porcine islet-like cell clusters (NPICC) was assessed. In in vitro assessments of NPICC apoptosis, NPICC showed a high sensitivity to apoptotic stimulation using a combination of TNF-alpha and cycloheximide. Stimulation with TNF-alpha alone was sufficient to induce reproducible apoptotic responses as demonstrated by caspase-3,-7 activation and subdiploid DNA analysis. Dose-dependent, high-level HO-1 protein expression was achieved following culture of NPICC in medium containing either cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP) or cobalt mesoporphyrin (CoMP). CoPP treatment resulted in the reduction of caspase-3,-7 enzyme activity following TNF-alpha stimulation. However, such an effect was not associated with a reduction in the levels of cell death. Indeed, the inhibition of caspase enzyme activity resulted in decreased PARP-1 cleavage, which may lead to heightened levels of necrosis in treated NPICC cultures, possibly explaining the observed commitment of NPICC to the death pathway.
|Number of pages||12|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|