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Regulatory T Cells Promote Pancreatic Islet Function and Viability via TGF-β1 in vitro and in vivo
Korean J Clin Lab Sci 2018;50:304-312  
Published on September 30, 2018
Copyright © 2018 Korean Society for Clinical Laboratory Science.

Bongkum Choi1,2, Sa-Hyun Kim3

1Transplantation Research Center, Clinical Research Institute, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul, Korea
2Department of Surgery, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
3Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Semyung University, Jecheon, Korea
Correspondence to: Sa-Hyun Kim
Department of Clinical Laboratory Science, Semyung University, 65 Semyeong-ro, Jecheon 27136, Korea
Tel: 82-43-649-1624
Fax: 82-43-649-7361
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Regulatory T cells (Treg), known as immune-suppressors, may help modulate the immune response. In this study, we investigated the effect of Treg-derived TGF-β1 on pancreatic islet cell function in vitro and in vivo. One hundred eighty IEQ (islet equivalents) of pancreatic islets, the marginal amount to regulate blood glucose level after syngeneic islet transplantation in mouse type 1 diabetes (T1D) model, were co-cultured with 4×106 Treg cells for 48 hours. The changes in TGF-β1, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and insulin secretion levels were measured and analyzed among the Treg-only group, the islet-only group, and the Treg/islet co-cultured group. In the Treg/islet co-cultured group, IL-6 and insulin secretion levels were increased (P< 0.0005, P< 0.005) and islet viability was improved (P<0.005) compared with the islet-only group. Furthermore, after transplantation, the co-cultured islets regulated blood glucose levels efficiently in the T1D mouse model. These data suggest that Treg could improve islet functions and viability via the TGF-β1 secretion pathway (P<0.05∼0.005), thus the use of Treg in islet transplantation should be explored further.
Keywords : Interleukin 6, Islet, Regulatory T cell, TGF-beta, Transplantation

September 2018, 50 (3)
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