Differential Susceptibility of BALB/c Sublines to Diabetes Induction by Multi-Dose Streptozotocin Treatment

  • E. H. Leiter
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 122)


Streptozotocin (SZ), an antibiotic isolated from Streptomyces acromogenes, has potent diabetogenic activity in mice. Chemically, Sz consists of 2-deoxy-D-glucose coupled at the second carbon to a N-nitrosomethylurea side chain; targeting of this toxin to the pancreatic beta (β) cells probably is a function of the glucose ring whereas the cell damage is likely mediated via the alkylating activity of the N-nitroso moeity (Wilson et al. 1983). When Sz is administered at doses between 150–300 mg per kg body weight in a single bolus (either i.p. or i.v.), males and females of most inbred strains of mice will develop an insulin-dependent diabetic state within 72 hours post-injection. The diabetes is primarily the consequence of direct Sz-mediated cytotoxicity to the β-cells, and the ensuing hyperglycemia is permanent. Although mice made diabetic by a single high dose of Sz are often used as a model for juvenile onset (insulin-dependent) diabetes, the model is compromised because Sz also exerts direct toxic effects on the liver, kidneys, and on cells of the immune sytem, a fact which complicates analysis of the insulin deficient state.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Inbred Strain Single High Dose Diabetes Induction Direct Cytotoxic Action 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1985

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  • E. H. Leiter

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