The identity of the cells responsible for beta-cell destruction in type I (insulin-dependent) diabetes is still uncertain. L3T4+ T-lymphocytes have a role in the initiation of insulitis and in damaging transplanted allogeneic islets in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. The role of L3T4+ T-lymphocytes in destruction of beta-cells of the NOD mouse was studied in cyclophosphamide (CY)-induced diabetic NOD mice with a rat anti-L3T4 monoclonal antibody (MoAb). After administration of CY, most untreated animals became diabetic, whereas all antibody-treated animals remained normoglycemic. Insulitis was still present in MoAb-treated animals, but immunocytochemical staining showed rat antibody blocking the L3T4 antigen on T-lymphocytes. This study provides further evidence that L3T4+ T-lymphocytes are critical to the process of beta-cell destruction in NOD mice. The means by which L3T4+ cells exert their effect remains to be clarified.

This content is only available via PDF.