The Incidence of Diabetes in BB Rats is Decreased Following Acute LCMV Infection

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Abstract

BB rats are a well studied animal model of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). About 59–90% of animals spontaneously develop IDDM between 60–140 days of age, characterized by weight loss, glycosuria, hyperglycemia, and mononuclear infiltrations of the islets of Langerhans (1). The pathogenesis is believed to be immune mediated as they show a number of immune abnormalities, including autoantibodies to islet cells, lymphocytic infiltration and injury to islets can be demonstrated before and during the onset of IDDM. The immune regulation is defective in the BB rats as indicated by reduced mixed lymphocyte reactions and reduced responsiveness to T-cell mitogens. Lymphopenia may accompany the course of disease but by itself it is not a prerequisite for development of IDDM. The immune pathogenesis can be passively transferred to non-diabetic animals by concanavalin A stimulated lymphocytes, and recently it has been shown that IDDM in BB rats can be prevented by treatment with monoclonal antibodies which recognize T-lymphocytes or natural killer cells (2)