Serum Cytokines as Biomarkers in Islet Cell Transplantation for Type 1 Diabetes

Cornelis R van der Torren, Annemarie A Verrijn Stuart, DaHae Lee, Jenny Meerding, Ursule van de Velde, Daniel Pipeleers, Pieter Gillard, Bart Keymeulen, Wilco de Jager, Bart O Roep

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Islet cell transplantation holds a potential cure for type 1 diabetes, but many islet recipients do not reach long-lasting insulin independence. In this exploratory study, we investigated whether serum cytokines, chemokines and adipokines are associated with the clinical outcome of islet transplantation.

METHODS: Thirteen islet transplant patients were selected on basis of good graft function (reaching insulin independence) or insufficient engraftment (insulin requiring) from our cohort receiving standardized grafts and immune suppressive therapy. Patients reaching insulin independence were divided in those with continued (>12 months) versus transient (<6 months) insulin independence. A panel of 94 proteins including cytokines and adipokines was measured in sera taken before and at one year after transplantation using a validated multiplex immunoassay platform.

RESULTS: Ninety serum proteins were detectable in concentrations varying markedly among patients at either time point. Thirteen markers changed after transplantation, while another seven markers changed in a clinical subpopulation. All other markers remained unaffected after transplantation under generalized immunosuppression. Patterns of cytokines could distinguish good graft function from insufficient function including IFN-α, LIF, SCF and IL-1RII before and after transplantation, by IL-16, CCL3, BDNF and M-CSF only before and by IL-22, IL-33, KIM-1, S100A12 and sCD14 after transplantation. Three other proteins (Leptin, Cathepsin L and S100A12) associated with loss of temporary graft function before or after transplantation.

CONCLUSIONS: Distinct cytokine signatures could be identified in serum that predict or associate with clinical outcome. These serum markers may help guiding patient selection and choice of immunotherapy, or act as novel drug targets in islet transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0146649
JournalPLoS ONE [E]
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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