Prevention of diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice by tumor necrosis factor (TNF): Similarities between TNF-α and interleukin

Chaim O. Jacob, Sadakazu Aiso, Sara A. Michie, Hugh O. Mcdevitt, Hans Acha-Orbea

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The role of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α) in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes mellitus was tested in the nonobese mouse (NOD) model system. The effects of TNF-α were assessed on three levels: (i) insulitis development, (ii) development of overt diabetes, (iii) adoptive transfer of diabetes by splenic lymphocytes. Spontaneous diabetes mellitus was blocked in NOD mice by long-term treatment with recombinant TNF-α. Treatment with TNF-α caused a significant reduction in the lymphocytic infiltration associated with the destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells. Class II major histocompatibility complex la expression by islet cells was not up-regulated by TNF-α. Moreover, TNF-α was able to suppress the induction of diabetes in adoptive transfer of lymphocytes from diabetic female mice to young nondiabetic male NOD mice. These activities of TNF-α were shared by interleukin 1α in this system. These studies have implications for the pathogenesis and therapy of autoimmune diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)968-972
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1990 Jan 1



  • Adoptive transfer
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Ia expression
  • Insulitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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