No evidence of viral transmission following long-term implantation of agarose encapsulated porcine islets in diabetic dogs
Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1
Islets of Langerhans
We have previously described the use of a double coated agarose-agarose porcine islet macrobead for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus. In the current study, the long-term viral safety of macrobead implantation into pancreatectomized diabetic dogs treated with pravastatin (n = 3) was assessed while 2 dogs served as nonimplanted controls. A more gradual return to preimplant insulin requirements occurred after a 2nd implant procedure (days 148, 189, and >652) when compared to a first macrobead implantation (days 9, 21, and 21) in all macrobead implanted animals. In all three implanted dogs, porcine C-peptide was detected in the blood for at least 10 days following the first implant and for at least 26 days following the second implant. C-peptide was also present in the peritoneal fluid of all three implanted dogs at 6 months after 2nd implant and in 2 of 3 dogs at necropsy. Prescreening results of islet macrobeads and culture media prior to transplantation were negative for 13 viruses. No evidence of PERV or other viral transmission was found throughout the study. This study demonstrates that the long-term (2.4 years) implantation of agarose-agarose encapsulated porcine islets is a safe procedure in a large animal model of type I diabetes mellitus.