, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 2–5

Persistent MHV (mouse hepatitis virus) infection reduces the incidence of diabetes mellitus in non-obese diabetic mice


  • S. Wilberz
    • Diabetes Forschungsinstitut der Universität Düsseldorf
  • H. J. Partke
    • Diabetes Forschungsinstitut der Universität Düsseldorf
  • F. Dagnaes-Hansen
    • Bomholtgard Breeding Research Centre
  • L. Herberg
    • Diabetes Forschungsinstitut der Universität Düsseldorf

DOI: 10.1007/BF00404016

Cite this article as:
Wilberz, S., Partke, H.J., Dagnaes-Hansen, F. et al. Diabetologia (1991) 34: 2. doi:10.1007/BF00404016


The frequency of diabetes mellitus was compared in non-obese diabetic mice before and after inadvertent exposure of the colony to mouse hepatitis virus infection. Prior to exposure, diabetes prevalence and cumulative diabetes incidence in 7-month-old mice was 65% and 25% in females and males, respectively. Diabetes incidence/quarter revealed a seasonal pattern with peaks in winter. After mouse hepatitis exposure, the diabetes incidence in the colony decreased and testing for mouse hepatitis antibody in blood samples revealed a persistent infection. In the offspring of mice delivered by caesarian section, the diabetic incidence increased sharply from a nadir of 36% to 95% and from 9% to 65% in females and males, respectively. In individual mice, diabetes resistance was strongly correlated to high titres of mouse hepatitis virus antibody. The results of this inadvertent viral infection demonstrate that a diabetes-susceptible genotype is strongly modulated by environmental factors. Investigators studying this diabetes model should strive for specific pathogen-free colony status and a high incidence of diabetes before attempting to investigate therapeutic modalities.

Key words

NOD micediabetes incidenceseasonalitymouse hepatitis virus infection

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991