Streptozotocin Interactions with Pancreatic β Cells and the Induction of Insulin-Dependent Diabetes

Conference paper
Part of the Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology book series (CT MICROBIOLOGY, volume 156)


The single most consistent finding in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is a substantial reduction in insulin secreting β cells (GEPTS 1965). The pathogenic factors responsible for this cellular destruction are complex and most likely differ among different subgroups in this category. Although these factors have not yet been definitively elucidated, it has become apparent that genetic influences and both humoral and cell mediated immunological phenomena are involved (EISENBARTH 1986; LEFEBVRE 1988). Also, a role for environmental factors in the etiology of IDDM has recently been indicated by epidemiological studies which have demonstrated that there is a marked increase in newly diagnosed cases of IDDM, which can only be explained by changes in environmental influences such as chemicals and viruses (KROWLEWSKI et al. 1987). Direct evidence that an ingested chemical can cause IDDM in humans comes from case reports of individuals who ate the rat poison Vacor in suicide attempts. Many of these individuals developed ketosis prone diabetes mellitus (KARAM et al. 1980; PROSSER and KARAM 1978). Studies in laboratory animals have provided additional evidence that xenobiotics can cause a critical reduction in insulin secreting cells. It is well established that nitrosamides like streptozotocin (SZ) and chlorozotocin and other complex amines like alloxan cause severe diabetes in laboratory animals (DULIN and SORET 1977; COOPERSTEIN and WATKINS 1981; MOSSMAN et al. 1985).


Major Histocompatibility Complex Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Major Histocompatibility Complex Antigen Acta Pathol Microbiol Immunol Stimulate ACTH Release 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Structural and Cellular BiologyUniversity of South AlabamaMobileUSA
  2. 2.The Jackson LaboratoryBar HarborUSA

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