Background. Complement 5a factor (C5a) elicits a broad range of proinflammatory effects, including chemotaxis of inflammatory cells and cytokine release. C5a is also linked to the coagulant activity in autoimmune diseases. Therefore, C5a most likely plays a crucial role in the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction. Methods. Intraportal transplantation of 2.5 islet equivalents/g of syngeneic rat islet grafts was performed in two groups of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats: controls and C5a inhibitory peptide (C5aIP)-treated group. Results. The thrombin-antithrombin complex was significantly suppressed in the C5aIP group (P=0.003), and both the curative rate and the glucose tolerance were significantly improved in the C5aIP group (P<0.05 and P<0.005, respectively). Expression of tissue factor on granulocytes in recipient livers was up-regulated 1 h after islet infusion (P<0.0001), which was significantly suppressed by C5aIP (P<0.005). However, C5aIP was unable to regulate tissue factor expression on isolated islets. Furthermore, no differences were detected between the groups, regarding infiltration of CD11b-positive cells and deposition of C5b-9 on the islet grafts. Conclusions. These data suggest that C5aIP attenuates cross-talk between the complement and coagulation cascades through suppressing up-regulation of tissue factor expression on leukocytes in recipient livers but not on islet grafts, a process leading to improvement in islet engraftment. Therefore, C5aIP in combination with conventional anticoagulants could be a strong candidate strategy to control the instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction induced in clinical islet transplantation.
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