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Pancreas. 2003 May;26(4):e99-104.

The novel anti-inflammatory compound, lisofylline, prevents diabetes in multiple low-dose streptozotocin-treated mice.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.



Proinflammatory cytokines play an important role in the development of type 1 diabetes. Lisofylline (LSF) is a novel anti-inflammatory compound that specifically inhibits proinflammatory cytokine production and action.


To investigate the effect of LSF on diabetes prevention.


A mouse with diabetes induced by multiple low doses of streptozotocin (STZ) can be used as an animal model for type 1 diabetes. In this study, we used this method to induce diabetes in C57BL/6J mice. The daily LSF treatment started 5 days before STZ injections and lasted for 2 weeks. The incidence of diabetes was monitored. Insulin secretion was assessed in pancreatic islets isolated from experimental mice. Cytokine production was measured in mouse sera. Islet apoptosis was assessed quantitatively.


In LSF-treated mice, there was a significant reduction of diabetes incidence (25% vs. 91.6%). This protection was associated with suppression of systemic levels of IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha, inhibition of macrophage infiltration in islets, restoration of islet insulin secretion, and reduction of beta-cell apoptosis.


This study suggests that treatment with LSF suppresses proinflammatory cytokines and protects beta-cells from inflammation. LSF may be useful for prevention of type 1 diabetes and other disorders associated with excessive proinflammatory cytokines.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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