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1.  Rotational Transport of Islets: The Best Way for Islets to Get around? 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:975608.
Islet transplantation is a valid treatment option for patients suffering from type 1 diabetes mellitus. To assure optimal islet cell quality, specialized islet isolation facilities have been developed. Utilization of such facilities necessitates transportation of islet cells to distant institutions for transplantation. Despite its importance, a clinically feasible solution for the transport of islets has still not been established. We here compare the functionality of isolated islets from C57BL/6 mice directly after the isolation procedure as well as after two simulated transport conditions, static versus rotation. Islet cell quality was assessed using real-time live confocal microscopy. In vivo islet function after syngeneic transplantation was determined by weight and blood sugar measurements as well as by intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests. Vascularization of islets was documented by fluorescence microscopy and immunohistochemistry. All viability parameters documented comparable cell viability in the rotary group and the group transplanted immediately after isolation. Functional parameters assessed in vivo displayed no significant difference between these two groups. Moreover, vascularization of islets was similar in both groups. In conclusion, rotary culture conditions allows the maintenance of highest islet quality for at least 15 h, which is comparable to that of freshly isolated islets.
doi:10.1155/2013/975608
PMCID: PMC3845626  PMID: 24324977
2.  Temporal dynamics of non-structural carbohydrates and xylem growth in Pinus sylvestris exposed to drought 
Wood formation requires a continuous supply of carbohydrates for structural growth and metabolism. In the montane belt of the central Austrian Alps we monitored the temporal dynamics of xylem growth and non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) in stem sapwood of Pinus sylvestris L. during the growing season 2009, which was characterized by exceptional soil dryness within the study area. Soil water content dropped below 10 % at the time of maximum xylem growth end of May. Histological analyses have been used to describe cambial activity and xylem growth. Determination of NSC was performed using specific enzymatic assays revealing that total NSC ranged from 0.8 to 1.7 % dry matter throughout the year. Significant variations (P < 0.05) of the size of the NSC pool were observed during the growing season. Starch showed persistent abundance throughout the year reaching a maximum shortly before onset of late wood formation in mid-July. Seasonal dynamics of NSC and xylem growth suggest that (i) high sink activity occurred at start of the growing season in spring and during late wood formation in summer and (ii) there was no particular shortage in NSC, which caused P. sylvestris to draw upon stem reserves more heavily during drought in 2009.
doi:10.1139/x11-085
PMCID: PMC3191854  PMID: 22003262

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