Induction of type I diabetes by interferon-α in transgenic mice

T. A. Stewart, B. Hultgren, X. Huang, S. Pitts-Meek, J. Hully, Nigel J Maclachlan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

254 Scopus citations


Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease involving an interaction between an epigenetic event (possibly a viral infection), the pancreatic β cells, and the immune system in a genetically susceptible host. The possibility that the type I interferons could mediate this interaction was tested with transgenic mice in which the insulin-producing β cells expressed an interferon-α. These mice developed a hypoinsulinemic diabetes associated with a mixed inflammation centered on the islets. The inflammation and the diabetes were prevented with a neutralizing antibody to the interferon-α. Thus, the expression of interferon-α by the β cells could be causal in the development of type I diabetes, which suggests a therapeutic approach to this disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1942-1946
Number of pages5
Issue number5116
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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