Isolated rat islets were irradiated with long-wave ultraviolet light alone or in combination with the photosensitizer 8-methoxypsoralen. The influence on specific beta cell functions was determined with the aim to find out experimental conditions which allow the use of such islets for transplantation. Short-term effects: Ultraviolet light affected (/sup 3/H)leucine incorporation into (pro)insulin (5 J/cm/sup 2/ : 53.8 %, 10 J/cm/sup 2/ : 41.0 % of the controls) and insulin release was slightly reduced. 8-methoxypsoralen enhanced the irradiation effect. Long-term effects: A restoration of irradiation-affected beta cell function was detected after 5 days of culture unless the dose exceeded 2 J/cm/sup 2/ (0.1 ..mu..M 8-methoxypsoralen) or 1 J/cm/sup 2/ (1 ..mu..M 8-methoxypsoralen). After functional restoration islets were used for transplantation experiments.