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Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice were injected with a rat monoclonal antibody to CD4 from birth every two weeks through 6 months of age. These animals gained weight normally but < 11% of their spleen T cells were CD4+, compared with 28% of CD4+ in controls injected with polyclonal rat IgG. The reduction in CD4 cell percentage was associated with a reduction in the number of cells in the thymus and spleen following the injection. CD4+ cells which survived the injections were nevertheless able to enter cell cycle when stimulated by Con A. None of the CD4-treated NOD mice became diabetic by 6 months of age and none of the animals studied histologically at this time had insulitis. At 9 months of age (three months after stopping the CD4 injections) the mice made antibody to human IgG. At 1 year of age most of the male mice had insulitis, although none of the male or female mice had become spontaneously diabetic. Two thirds of animals injected with cyclophosphamide at 16 months became diabetic within 3 weeks. The results confirm that treatment with CD4 antibody in the first 6 months suffices to reduce the incidence of diabetes in NOD mice. The treatment does not prevent the subsequent development of insulitis in injected mice and does not prevent the accumulation of cells capable of causing overt diabetes after cyclophosphamide injection.

Original publication




Journal article


J Autoimmun

Publication Date





301 - 310


Animals, Animals, Newborn, Antibodies, Monoclonal, CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes, Cyclophosphamide, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1, Female, Immunoglobulin G, Islets of Langerhans, Male, Mice, Mice, Inbred NOD, Pancreatitis, T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory, Thymus Gland