• Apoptosis;
  • islet;
  • isolation;
  • nicotinamide;
  • transplantation;
  • two-layer method

We investigated the effects of nicotinamide (NA) supplementation of the processing medium during islet isolation. One hundred and two human pancreata were processed for clinical transplantation after preservation either in the University of Wisconsin (UW) or using the two-layer method (TLM). Pancreata were then divided into four groups and retrospectively analyzed. Group I: UW preservation followed by processing without NA, Group II: UW preservation and processing with NA, Group III: TLM preservation without NA, Group IV: TLM preservation with NA. We observed a significant increase in islet yield in Group II (4343 ± 348 IEQ/g) [mean ± SEM], compared to Group I (2789 ± 348 IEQ/g) (p = 0.005). Similarly, a significant increase in islet yield was observed when NA was used in the processing of organs preserved with TLM (Group IV: 5538 ± 413 vs. Group III: 3500 ± 629; p = 0.02). Furthermore islet yield was higher in Group IV than in Group II (p < 0.05). The percentages of preparations that qualified for transplantation were 25, 47, 45, 69% in Groups I, II, III, IV, respectively. Addition of NA to the processing medium significantly improved islet yields in both the UW and TLM preservation protocols, allowing for a higher percentage of islet preparations to qualify for clinical transplantation.