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How MSCs Improve Islet Grafting

During their analysis into how bone marrow‐derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) promote revascularization during islet grafting, researchers led by Xiao‐Ming Ding and Jin Zheng (Xi'an Jiaotong University, Shaanxi Province, China) demonstrated the significant overexpression of insulin gene enhancer binding protein‐1 (ISL1) and vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) in islets co‐cultured with bone marrow-derived MSCs. As reported in their new STEM CELLS article, Wang et al. also found that ISL1 directly promotes VEGFA transcription in a rat insulinoma cell line. Overall, these findings demonstrate that ISL1 regulates the expression of endogenous VEGFA in islets and improves vascular remodeling during islet transplantation, which may have significance for the clinical application of islet transplantation.