An immunomodulating protein, Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8) prevents insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice


Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8), a novel and recently discovered immunomodulatory protein having in vivo immunosuppressive activity, was tested for in vivo effect against Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in the non-obese diabetic mouse, the disease having immunologically mediated aetiology in this animal. LZ-8 had mitogenic activity in vitro towards spleen cells of the non-obese diabetic mice as previously shown towards those of DBA/2 mice. Intraperitoneal administration of LZ-8 twice weekly into the mice (10.3–12.6 mg/kg body weight) from 4 weeks of age prevented insulitis and an almost normal number of insulin producing cells were observed. Extreme insulitis and reduction of the number of insulin producing cells were observed in the pancreata of the untreated non-obese diabetic mouse. No cumulative incidence of diabetes mellitus was observed in the LZ-8 treated group, while cumulative incidences of 70% and 60% were observed in an untreated group followed up to 42 weeks of age when the incidence of diabetes was defined as a plasma glucose level of greater than 11 mmol/l and as a urine glucose level of greater than 2 +, respectively. T cell subset population analysis was performed to further investigate the action of LZ-8 on the non-obese diabetic mouse which revealed that LZ-8 treatment increased in L3T4+/Lyt-2+ ratio.


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Kino, K., Mizumoto, K., Sone, T. et al. An immunomodulating protein, Ling Zhi-8 (LZ-8) prevents insulitis in non-obese diabetic mice. Diabetologia 33, 713–718 (1990).

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Key words

  • LZ-8
  • immunomodulator
  • NOD mouse
  • Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes
  • insulitis
  • autoimmunity
  • T cell subset