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Transplant Proc. 2006 Jan-Feb;38(1):282-3.

Application of sulforaphane: histopathological study of intraportal transplanted pancreatic islets into livers of diabetic rats.

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Department of General and Transplant Surgery, Warsaw Medical University, ul. Nowogrodzka 59, 02-006 Warsaw, Poland.



Islet cell transplantation is a promising method to restore insulin independence to patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus. A main problem in clinical islet transplantation is the fact that only a small percentage of allogeneic islet-transplanted type 1 diabetic patients can completely omit insulin injections after transplantation. One reason for the impaired survival of islet grafts is aberration of the function of islets due to toxic agents, including oxygen radicals and nitric oxide, which arise during warm or cold ischemic time. Therefore, in clinical islet transplantation, islets have been preserved with a mixture of antioxidants to reduce free radical-mediated damage of transplanted beta cells. Our aim was to examine hepatic tissue after metabolic normalization following intraportal islet transplantation after application of sulforaphane.


Islets were isolated from pancreata of WAG rats. Sulforaphane (24 mg/kg) was administered 24 hours before isolated islets were transplanted into the liver through the portal vein (1200 +/- 100 per rat). At 9 months after transplantation the animals were killed and liver tissue removed for morphological examination.


This report indicated that the intrahepatic portal vein site was indeed an excellent locus for implantation of free pancreatic islets. The islet grafts developed rich vascularization derived from both venous and arterial sources. The islet cells maintained their structural and functional integrity after implantation.


Our results showed that sulforaphane improved islet function in vivo, indicating that combination of a free radical scavenger and an antioxidant (sulforaphane) may be used to increase the effectiveness of islet transplantation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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