Genetic predisposition to diabetes mellitus is associated with impaired humoral immunity to coxsackievirus B4

Roger M. Loria, Louise B. Montgomery, Nancy Tuttle-Fuller, Hall M. Gregg, Vernon Chinchilli

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12 Scopus citations


Experiments were performed to determine whether genetic predisposition to diabetes mellitus (DM) or clinical DM or both exert an influence on the production of neutralization antibodies to coxsackievirus B4 (CB4). The homozygous diabetic mutant mouse db+/db+, on the inbred C57BL/KsJ genetic background, develops a diabetes-like disease when maintained on ad libitum diet but rectriction of excess food intake prevents overt disease. The doubly heterozygote db+/+m or the homozygote +m/+m misty coat color mutant, on the C57BL/KsJ genetic background, do not develop DM and served as controls. Animals infected with one-half a previously determined LD50 of CB4 were bled prior to infection and at 3, 5, 7, 14, 21 days and at 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 months after infection. Serum neutralization antibody (NA) levels were determined from the percent CB4 plaque reduction. Until 2 months following infection, NA levels were not significant in either of the homozygous diabetic mutant groups, db+/db+. In the diabetic mutant group db+/db+, without overt disease, neutralization of CB4 when observed, was low, short-lived, and apparently not specific. However, in the homozygous diabetic mutants with spontaneous diabetes, CB4 NA became evident at 2 months after infection. By 3 months post-infection, serum NA levels were sufficient to cause 90% virus plaque reduction. These observations demonstrate that hereditary DM as characterized by the mutation diabetes, db, in the C57BL/KsJ mouse, is associated with a marked impaired humoral immune response to a diabetogenic human CB4. Specifically, there is an inability to develop an adequate level of anti-CB4 antibodies. The type and degree of immunological impairment are apparently different prior to and after onset of diabetes mellitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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