Diabetes acceleration or prevention by a coxsackievirus B4 infection: critical requirements for both interleukin-4 and gamma interferon.

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Diabetes-Mellitus-Type-1, Enterovirus-B-Human, Enterovirus-Infections, Interferon-Type-II, Interleukin-4, Islets-of-Langerhans, Mice-Inbred-NOD, Pancreas

JAX Source

J Virol 2005 Jan; 79(2):1045-52.


Type 1 diabetes acceleration in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice through coxsackievirus B4 (CVB4) infection requires a preexisting critical mass of autoreactive T cells in pancreatic islets, and in the absence of this insulitic threshold, CVB4 infection leads to long-term disease protection. To understand this acceleration and protection process, we challenged 8- and 12-week-old NOD mice containing a disruption in interleukin-4 (IL-4) or gamma interferon (IFN-gamma) genes (NOD IL-4-/- and NOD IFN-gamma-/-, respectively) with a diabetogenic, pancreatropic Edwards strain of CVB4. The elimination of IL-4 did not alter the rate of insulitis or diabetes development in NOD mice, while the elimination of IFN-gamma delayed these events several weeks. CVB4 infection in 8-week-old mice only significantly accelerated the onset of diabetes in a subset of standard, but not IL-4- or IFN-gamma-deficient, NOD mice. Long-term diabetes protection was established in standard NOD mice as well as in the NOD IFN-gamma-/- mice that did not rapidly develop disease following CVB4 infection at 8 weeks of age. When mice were infected at 12 weeks of age, the onset of diabetes was accelerated in NOD IL-4-/- mice, while neither acceleration nor long-term protection was elicited in NOD IFN-gamma-/- mice. No differences were observed in the kinetics of CVB4 clearance in pancreases from NOD, NOD IL-4-/-, and NOD IFN-gamma-/- mice. Collectively, these results suggest that at the insulitis threshold at which CVB4 infection can first accelerate the onset of diabetes in NOD mice, IL-4 as well as IFN-gamma contributes to this pathogenic process. The protective mechanism against diabetes elicited in NOD mice infected with CVB4 prior to the development of a critical threshold level of insulitis requires neither IL-4 nor IFN-gamma.