Sensitivity Study for the Key Parameters in Heterospheroid Preparation with Insulin-Secreting β‑Cells and Mesenchymal Stem Cells
journal contributionposted on 29.08.2019 by Tuğba Bal, Yasemin Inceoglu, Erdal Karaoz, Seda Kizilel
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The outcome of islet transplantation in clinics has been determined by the success of tissue engraftment. The strong immune attack that occurs upon transplantation of β-cells plays a central role as this attack results in the failure of transplanted tissue. To improve tissue engraftment, deleterious effects of immune reactions should be minimized for β-cell function and survival. Here, we report a systematic analysis of the effect of insulin-secreting β-cell (MIN6) and mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) number and size on the function of β-cells and present immune protection potential of heterospheroid structures through MSCs and synthetic scaffolds. We prepared 3D heterospheroids with MSCs and MIN6 cells through a hanging-drop approach. To precisely estimate the influence of critical parameters on heterospheroid size and insulin secretion function of β-cells, we prepared heterospheroids using two independent input variables: (i) initial cell number in each droplet and (ii) MIN6:MSC ratio. We studied the influence of initial cell numbers of 200 and 500, and six different MIN6:MSC ratios (1:0, 0:1, 1:1, 2:1, 5:1, and 10:1) for the preparation of heterospheroids through the hanging drop. Next, we used PEG hydrogels as a semipermeable physical barrier to improve immune protection from cytokines. Through encapsulation of our heterospheroids within PEG hydrogel, we were able to observe sustained β-cell survival and insulin secretion despite exposure of heterospheroids with proinflammatory cytokines. Insulin secretion was further promoted with glucagon like peptide-1 (GLP-1) incorporation within PEG hydrogel structure. This study is significant to demonstrate the synergistic effects of MIN6-MSC and scaffold-MIN6 interactions and to improve therapeutic efficacy of islet transplantation. Overall, this study comprehensively presents the optimum conditions for the preparation of MIN6-MSC spheroids, utilizes MSCs and GLP-1 functional PEG hydrogels as a scaffold to retain insulin secretion function and further demonstrates protection of heterospheroids exposed to proinflammatory cytokines.