Diane L. Hatchell
Joseph A. C. Wadsworth Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of Ophthalmology

Isolated islets of Langerhans, transplanted in an immune privileged site, or with immunosupression of the host, have been shown to be successful in restoring normoglycemia in diabetic animals, and in humans to a limited extent. The subretinal space has recently been shown to share immune privilege with the cornea and anterior chamber of the eye. The purposes of the proposed studies are to 1) determine if the subretinal space of the cat eye is an immune privileged site for allogenic transplantation of islets, 2) determine if revascularization and survival of cat islets will be enhanced if they are cotransplanted with cells that are genetically engineered to make vascular endothelial growth factor, or 3) cotransplanted with Sertoli cells that will provide further immunological protection of the islets.

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