Melatonin prolongs graft survival of pancreas allotransplants in pigs

Francisco A. García-Gil, Carlos D. Albendea, Jorge Escartín, Fermin Lampreave, Lorena Fuentes-Broto, Joan Rosellõ-Catafau, Laura Lõpez-Pingarrõn, Russel J. Reiter, Ramiro Alvarez-Alegret, Joaquín J. García

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Oxidative stress is involved in ischemia-reperfusion injury and allograft rejection after transplantation. We studied two well-known antioxidants, melatonin and ascorbic acid (AA), in relation to the survival of a pancreas transplantation model without immunosuppression. Forty-eight Landrace pigs were divided into three groups (n = 16 each; eight donors and eight recipients) that received melatonin, AA, or no antioxidant therapy (controls). Melatonin and AA were administered (10 mg/kg body weight) intravenously to donors and recipients during surgery and on postoperative days 1-7. The molecules were also added (5 mm) to a University of Wisconsin preservation solution during organ cold storage. Melatonin significantly delayed acute rejection and prolonged allograft survival (25.1 ± 7.7 days) compared with the controls (8.1 ± 0.8 days, P = 0.013) and the AA group (9.4 ± 1.6 days, P = 0.049). Melatonin reduced indicators of oxidative stress, malondialdehyde, and 4-hydroxyalkenals, in pancreatic samples collected during procurement, cold ischemia, and reperfusion. Melatonin also reduced serum pig-major acute-phase protein/inter-α-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 4 (pMAP/ITIH 4) in the early post-transplantation period. AA only partially reduced oxidative damage 30 min postreperfusion and failed to prevent pMAP/ITIH 4 elevations. These findings suggested that melatonin may be a useful therapeutic tool for organ transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-453
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pineal research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • ascorbic acid
  • inter-α-trypsin inhibitor heavy chain 4
  • ischemia-reperfusion
  • melatonin
  • oxidative stress
  • pancreas transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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