We transplanted 10,000 isolated, handpicked human pancreatic islets into the subfascial compartment of the forearm muscle of a type I diabetic recipient who had received a successful renal transplant one year prior. The recipient was maintained on his usual immunosuppressive therapy of cyclosporine, azathioprine, and prednisone. A biopsy performed 7 days after transplantation showed normal islets with both insulin, and glucagon-staining cells present and no lymphocytic infiltration. A second biopsy performed 14 days after transplantation showed a dense mononuclear cell infiltrate with a preferential loss of insulin-staining cells relative to glucagon-staining cells in the islets. These data are consistent with recurrent autoimmune diabetes in an isolated islet allograft in an immunosuppressed type I diabetic recipient. In addition, this forearm subfascial site may be a useful means to monitor islet rejection and autoimmune recurrence in therapeutic intraportal islet allografts.
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