Biomaterials 2006 Jun 23;27(17):3201-8. Epub 2006 Feb 23.
Faculté de Médecine, Laboratory of Experimental Surgery, Université Catholique de Louvain, CHEX 5570, Avenue Hippocrate 55, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.
This work investigated the impact of implantation sites on the biocompatibility of alginate encapsulated pig islets. Non-diabetic rats were implanted with adult pig islets encapsulated in alginate either intraperitoneally (IP; n=25), subcutaneously (SC; n=37) or under the kidney capsule (KC; n=34). Capsule biocompatibility (retrieval rate, capsule diameter, degree of capsule broken and cellular overgrowth, CD68/CD3 staining) as well as islets viability and functionality were assessed until 30 days after transplantation. Implantation site did not significantly influence the biocompatibility of empty alginate capsules after transplantation (n=48). Most of the empty capsules (>90%) were retrieved after harvesting and were free of cellular overgrowth until day 30 post-transplantation. Three days after implantation, no significant difference for encapsulated pig islets was observed in terms of capsule biocompatibility and islet functionality in peritoneum, KC or subcutaneously. However, between days 5 and 30 after transplantation, explanted capsules from IP demonstrated a higher degree of broken capsules (>13%) and capsules with severe cellular overgrowth (>50%, CD68+ infiltration) than capsules removed from SC and KC (p<0.05). This was associated with a significant reduction of islet viability, insulin content and insulin secretion. In rats, the peritoneum site seems not appropriate for promoting the engraftment of encapsulated pig islets. Kidney subcapsular and subcutaneous spaces represent an interesting alternative.