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The nonobese diabetic mouse is a model of spontaneous type I diabetes mellitus. It is possible to induce diabetes in young, irradiated nonobese diabetic mice by using adoptive transfer of splenocytes or splenic T cells obtained from diabetic donors. This study demonstrates that the induction of diabetes in the adoptive transfer system is dependent on both the L3T4+ and Lyt-2+ subsets of T cells. Neither of these T cell subsets alone mediates the development of severe insulitis or diabetes when adoptively transferred to young, irradiated recipients. In addition, we show that both the L3T4+ and Lyt-2+ subsets must be obtained from diabetic donors in order to transfer diabetes; neither subset can be replaced with cells obtained from young, nondiabetic donors.


Journal article


Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Publication Date





52 - 58


Department of Immunology Research, Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Rahway, NJ 07065.


Islets of Langerhans, Spleen, T-Lymphocytes, Animals, Mice, Mice, Mutant Strains, Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental, Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte, Antigens, Ly, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Immunization, Passive, Flow Cytometry, Age Factors