Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2017 April; 72(4): 238-243.

Copyright © 2017 CLINICS

Human islet xenotransplantation in rodents: A literature review of experimental model trends

Leandro Ryuchi Iuamoto I * , André Silva Franco I , Fábio Yuji Suguita I , Felipe Futema Essu I , Lucas Torres Oliveira I , Juliana Mika Kato I , Matheus Belloni Torsani I , Alberto Meyer II , Wellington Andraus II , Eleazar Chaib II , Luiz Augusto Carneiro D'Albuquerque II

Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR

Departamento de Gastroenterologia, Faculdade de Medicina, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, SP, BR

*Corresponding author. E-mail:

received August 10, 2016; revised November 2, 2016; accepted December 16, 2016.


Among the innovations for the treatment of type 1 diabetes, islet transplantation is a less invasive method of treatment, although it is still in development. One of the greatest barriers to this technique is the low number of pancreas donors and the low number of pancreases that are available for transplantation. Rodent models have been chosen in most studies of islet rejection and type 1 diabetes prevention to evaluate the quality and function of isolated human islets and to identify alternative solutions to the problem of islet scarcity. The purpose of this study is to conduct a review of islet xenotransplantation experiments from humans to rodents, to organize and analyze the parameters of these experiments, to describe trends in experimental modeling and to assess the viability of this procedure. In this study, we reviewed recently published research regarding islet xenotransplantation from humans to rodents, and we summarized the findings and organized the relevant data. The included studies were recent reports that involved xenotransplantation using human islets in a rodent model. We excluded the studies that related to isotransplantation, autotransplantation and allotransplantation. A total of 34 studies that related to xenotransplantation were selected for review based on their relevance and current data. Advances in the use of different graft sites may overcome autoimmunity and rejection after transplantation, which may solve the problem of the scarcity of islet donors in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Keywords: Islet Transplantation, Allograft, Transplantation, Heterologous, Islets of Langerhans

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