Rotational co-culture of clonal β-cells with endothelial cells: effect of PPAR-γ agonism in vitro on insulin and VEGF secretion

M.B. Paget, H.E. Murray, C.J. Bailey, P.R. Flatt, R. Downing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Aim: Delayed graft revascularization impedes the success of human islet transplantation. This study utilized rotational co-culture of insulin secreting ß-cells with human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) and a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPAR-?) agonist to promote insulin and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) secretory function. Methods: Clonal BRIN-BD11 (D11) cells were maintained in static culture (SC) and rotational culture (RC) ± HUVEC and ± the TZD (thiazolidinedione) rosiglitazone (10 mmol/l) as a specific PPAR-? agonist. HUVECs were cultured in SC and RC ± D11 and ± TZD. D11 insulin secretion was induced by static incubation with low glucose (1.67 mmol/l), high glucose (16.7 mmol/l) and high glucose with 10 mmol/l theophylline (G+T) and assessed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). HUVEC proliferation was determined by ATP luminescence, whereas VEGF secretion was quantified by ELISA. Co-cultured cells were characterized by immunostaining for insulin and CD31. Results: D11 SC and RC showed enhanced insulin secretion in response to 16.7 mmol/l and G+T (p <0.01); without significant alteration by the TZD. Co-culture with HUVEC in SC and RC also increased D11 insulin secretion when challenged with 16.7 mmol/l and G+T (p <0.01), and this was slightly enhanced by the TZD. The presence of HUVEC increased D11 SC and RC insulin secretion in response to high glucose and G+T, respectively (p <0.01). Addition of the TZD increased SC and RC HUVEC ATP content (p <0.01) and VEGF production (p <0.01) in the presence and absence of D11 cells. Conclusions: Rotational co-culture of insulin secreting cells with endothelial cells, and exposure to a PPAR-? agonist may improve the prospects for graft revascularization and function after implantation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)662-668
Number of pages7
JournalDiabetes, Obesity and Metabolism
Issue number7
Early online date24 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • β-cell
  • insulin secretion
  • islet transplantation
  • PPAR-γ agonist
  • revascularization
  • rotational culture
  • thiazolidinedione


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