Cystic cholangiomas after transplantation of pancreatic islets into the livers of diabetic rats.

Virchows Arch 2006 Jun 7;448(6):776-87. Epub 2006 Apr 7.

Institute for Pathology, Otto-von-Guericke-University Magdeburg, Leipziger Strasse 44, 39120 Magdeburg, Germany.

Islet transplantation is increasingly used as a therapy for human type 1 diabetes mellitus. In our study, we investigated the effect of the transplantation of a low number (n = 350) of pancreatic islets into the right liver part on the neighboring portal bile ducts. Male streptozotocin- diabetic Lewis or autoimmune-diabetic BB/Pfd rats (n = 1065) were subdivided into 11 experimental groups. A few days after low-number islet transplantation, cholangiocytes adjacent to the grafts showed an increase in proliferative activity. During the next 12-24 months, many peri-insular ductules progressed via tumor-like cystic lesions to large cystic cholangiomas, accompanied by a translocation of the insulin receptor into the cytoplasm and an increase in expression of insulin-related signaling proteins (Insulin-receptor-substrate-1, Raf-1, Mek-1). After 24 months, 53% of rats with low-number transplantation exhibited at least one cholangioma >10 mm, significantly outnumbering tumor development in the transplant-free left liver part and in any control group. No cholangiocarcinomas emerged. A graft cell origin of the tumors was excluded by Y chromosome in situ hybridization in cross-gender transplantations. Conclusively, low-number intrahepatic islet transplantation, most likely acting by permanent local hyperinsulinism, leads to prolonged cholangiocellular proliferation in streptozotocin- and in autoimmune-diabetic rats, resulting in the development of benign cystic cholangiomas.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00428-006-0196-3DOI Listing
June 2006
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