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Cell Physiol Biochem. 2017;41(1):41-54. doi: 10.1159/000455935. Epub 2017 Jan 17.

Camel Whey Protein Protects B and T Cells from Apoptosis by Suppressing Activating Transcription Factor-3 (ATF-3)-Mediated Oxidative Stress and Enhancing Phosphorylation of AKT and IκB-α in Type I Diabetic Mice.



Diabetes mellitus (DM) is associated with severe immune system complications. Camel whey protein (CWP) decreases free radicals (ROS) and modulates immune functions, but its effect on DM-impaired immune systems has not been studied. We investigated the impact of CWP on the immune system in a Type 1 diabetes mouse model.


Three experimental groups were used: (1) non-diabetic control; (2) diabetic; and (3) CWP-treated diabetic mice.


Induction of diabetes by streptozotocin was associated with reduction of body weight and insulin level, increase in glucose level and pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α), and reduction in IL-2 and IL-4 levels. Upregulated ATF-3 expression was followed by a marked elevation in ROS levels. Lymphocytes from diabetic mice exhibited increased apoptosis through decreased phosphorylation of AKT and IκB-α, increased infiltration of T cells in the spleen and thymus, and decreased B cell numbers in the spleen. Supplementation with CWP decreased the levels of proinflammatory cytokines, ROS, and ATF-3 expression, and increased the levels of IL-4. Treatment with CWP decreased apoptosis by enhancing the phosphorylation of AKT and IκB-α as well as T-cell and B-cell distribution in the spleen and thymus.


Our findings suggest the beneficial effects of CWP supplementation during diabetes on decreasing and orchestrating the redox status and subsequently rescuing the immune cells from exhaustion.


Apoptosis; Camel whey protein; Diabetes mellitus; Free radicals; Lymphocytes

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