Islet transplantation has the potential to be the miracle cure so many people with diabetes are seeking. However, research done at John Radcliffe Hospital shows that the cure might be a long way off.
The researchers wanted to see if transplanted cells from another species would be subject to rejection, so they used the cynomolgus monkey as their model.
They found that, after transplanting islets from New Zealand White rabbits into the monkeys, the cells died within four days.
The results suggest that the mechanisms of graft rejection will represent a major barrier in the transplantation of islet cells from an animal host into humans. The results of the study were published in Transplantation, Nov., 1994.