BALB/cByJ islet allografts are acutely rejected when transplanted into allogeneic mice (CBA/J). Culture of the tissue for 7 days in 95% O2 before grafting is a suboptimal treatment for the reduction of immunogenicity in this strain combination. Approximately half the animals reject these transplants in a chronic fashion. Chronic islet rejection differs from acute rejection of uncultured allogeneic islets. During chronic rejection, beta cells within the transplanted tissue degranulate but remain intact when the animal returns to the diabetic condition. Acute islet rejection is characterized by the destruction of beta cells that remain heavily granulated as long as they remain intact. We examined the effect of the iron chelating agent, desferrioxamine, on chronic islet allograft damage. Desferrioxamine inhibited chronic islet allograft damage but did not influence the process of rejection of uncultured islet tissue. This effect of desferrioxamine could not be attributed to a direct immunosuppressive effect of this agent.

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