Adding a synthetic antioxidant compound to islets slated for transplantation preserves two to three times as many islets as in batches that do not receive the antioxidant, say researchers in Pittsburgh who are studying the process in mice. Antioxidants counteract damage that can be caused by oxygen in tissues.
Pancreatic islets, which produce insulin, are typically decimated by the process required to isolate them before transplantation. Using the synthetic antioxidant to preserve more islets could lead to increased availability of islets for transplants.
-Diabetes, August 2002