Formation of vacuoles, mitochondrial damage, and dilatation of rough endoplasmic reticulum, margination and clumping of chromatin were major ultrastructural alterations in AP group. Ascorbic acid + NAC prevented these changes. Small vacuoles were present within the cytoplasm of some of the acinar cells. Pancreas damage was accompanied by an increase in tissue malondialdehyde (MDA) levels (p < 0.05), whereas a decrease was seen in catalase (CAT), superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase (GPx) activities and total glutathione (GSH) levels (p < 0.005). Ascorbic acid + NAC decreased MDA levels but increased CAT, SOD, GPx activities and GSH levels (p < 0.005).
These results suggest that ascorbic acid + NAC is potentially capable of limiting pancreatic damage produced during AP via protecting fine structure of acinar cells and tissue antioxidant enzyme activities.
Still looking for evidence (proof) that NAC alone can increase intracellular GSH, and the problem is that all (most) animal models make their own ascorbate. This study in rats, which presumably make their own ascorbate.