Fifteen thousand youths are diagnosed yearly with type 1 diabetes mellitus. Pancreatic islet transplantation has been shown clinically to provide short-term (~1 year) insulin independence. However, challenges associated with early vascularization of transplanted islet grafts and long-term islet survival remain. We utilized dynamic contrast enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE MRI) to monitor neovascularization of islets transplanted into the right lobe of the liver in a syngeneic mouse model system. The left lobe received no islets and served as a control. DCE data were analyzed for temporal dynamics of contrast (gadolinium) extravasation and the results were fit to a Tofts two-compartment exchange model. We observed maximal right lobe enhancement at seven days post-transplantation. Histological examination up to 28 days was used to confirm imaging results. DCE-derived enhancement strongly correlated with immunohistochemical measures of neovascularization. To our knowledge, these results are the first to demonstrate using a FDA approved contrast agent that DCE MRI can effectively and non-invasively monitor the progression of angiogenesis in intraportal islet grafts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism