Diabetes Mellitus: Induction in Mice by Encephalomyocarditis Virus

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Science  22 Nov 1968:
Vol. 162, Issue 3856, pp. 913-914
DOI: 10.1126/science.162.3856.913


Hyperglycemia and lesions of the pancreatic islets of Langerhans developed in some, but not all, adult mice infected with a variant of the encephalomyocarditis virus. Large amounts of virus were recovered from the pancreas during acute stages of infection. At this time blood glucose concentrations were markedly elevated and the islets of Langerhans exhibited focal necrosis and degranulation of beta cells. Evidence of abnormal glucose metabolism persisted for varying periods after recovery from the infection. The islets of Langerhans of chronically hyperglycemic mice were distorted and decreased in size, and the beta cells were degranulated. Encephalomyocarditis virus appears to cause diabetes mellitus by reducing the mass of functional beta cells of the islets of Langerhans.

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