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Mol Immunol. 2002 May;38(12-13):941-6.

Downregulation of apoptosis in the target tissue prevents low-dose streptozotocin-induced autoimmune diabetes.

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  • 1Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, United Arab Emirates University, P.O. Box 17666, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates.


3,7-dimethyl-1-(5-oxohexyl) xanthine, pentoxifylline (PTX) is shown to affect cytokine-induced apoptosis in several experimental models and clinical conditions. It had been also shown to prevent insulitis and hyperglycemia in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, and mice and rats susceptible to diabetes induction with multiple low-doses of streptozotocin (MLD-STZ). We therefore analysed the development of diabetes and apoptosis of pancreatic beta islet cells in CBA/mice after diabetes induction with MLD-STZ. We have evaluated the effect of PTX on the level of apoptosis in the islet at different time intervals after diabetes induction. Complementary histological and immunohistochemical studies and analyses of the expression of cytokines and nitric oxide have also been done. It was concluded that PTX significantly attenuated apoptosis of the beta-cells in the islet and suppressed the induction of diabetes. Our data are compatible with the notion that interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma)/tumor necrosis factor (TNF)/nitric oxide (NO)-induced apoptosis of beta-cells in experimental diabetes is attenuated by PTX.

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