In an effort to study the development of diabetes in NOD mice, our laboratory developed a novel adoptive transfer model using NOD-scid/scid (NOD-scid) mice as recipients of islet-infiltrating lymphocytes from donor prediabetic female NOD mice. We first confirmed previous results that demonstrated that splenocytes of diabetic and prediabetic female NOD mice could transfer diabetes to NOD-scid mice. We demonstrated that the kinetics of disease transfer were dependent on the age of transferred lymphocytes and reiterated the kinetics of diabetes in conventional female NOD mice. We then demonstrated that islet-infiltrating lymphocytes from prediabetic female NOD mice could transfer diabetes. In contrast with the age-dependent transfer of diabetes seen using splenocytes, islet-infiltrating lymphocytes obtained from prediabetic female NOD mice aged ≥40 days rapidly transferred diabetes to NOD-scid recipients. The time required to transfer insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) using islet-infiltrating lymphocytes from young prediabetic mice (25 ± 9 days) was not statistically different from the time required to transfer IDDM using splenocytes from overtly diabetic mice (32 ± 5 days). Cotransfer of splenocyte cells or CD4+, but not CD8+ spleen cells, from 60- to 80-day-old prediabetic female NOD mice together with either splenocytes from diabetic mice or islet-infiltrating lymphocytes from prediabetic NOD mice delayed the rapid transfer of IDDM, suggesting that CD4+ cells mediated immunoregulation. Use of the NOD-scid islet-infiltrating lymphocyte-adoptive transfer model should help elucidate the pathophysiology of the early inflammatory events leading to insulitis and subsequent β-cell destruction. Use of the NOD-scid adoptive model in cotransfer experiments should help identify the immunoregulatory cells that delay development of IDDM in conventional NOD mice.

This content is only available via PDF.