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J Interferon Cytokine Res. 1999 Aug;19(8):877-9.

Oral use of interferon-alpha delays the onset of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in nonobese diabetes mice.

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Fujisaki Institute, Hayashibara Biochemical Labs., Inc., Okayama, Japan.


Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in the nonobese diabetes (NOD) mouse model is thought to be an autoimmune CD4 Th1-like cell-mediated disease. We tested the efficacy of oral use of interferon-alpha (IFN-alpha) therapy on IDDM in NOD mice. Using urine and blood sugar levels as indicators of IDDM, oral administration of murine IFN-alpha (100 IU/body) to NOD mice significantly delayed the onset of symptomatic diabetes. However, oral use of IFN-alpha did not prevent diabetic NOD mice from losing weight once NOD mice were symptomatic, suggesting that orally administered IFN-alpha is a prophylactic rather than therapeutic approach to the management of IDDM.

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