Pancreatic islet transplantation is limited by extensive apoptosis and suboptimal function of the implanted islets in the longer term. Endothelial progenitor cells (EPC) may be ideal for enhancing both the survival and function of transplanted islets. Here, we describe for the first time the in vitro formation of rat mosaic pseudoislets comprised of pancreatic β-cells with interspersed vasculogenic EPC. Bone marrow-derived EPC displayed a similar phenotype to non-adherent EPC, recently described in the human and mouse. Mosaic pseudoislet formation was enhanced by the use of an embryoid body forming medium (BPEL) and a spin protocol. Mosaic pseudoislets maintained function in vitro and may represent an enhanced cell therapy delivery approach to enhance the survival and revascularization of transplanted islets.
- Endothelial progenitor cells
- Pancreatic islets