Neonatal thymectomy prevents spontaneous diabetes mellitus in the BB/W rat

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Science  07 May 1982:
Vol. 216, Issue 4546, pp. 644-646
DOI: 10.1126/science.7041259


Complete neonatal thymectomy reduced the frequency of spontaneous diabetes mellitus in BioBreeding/Worcester rats from 27 to 3 percent. Incomplete thymectomy also significantly reduced the frequency of diabetes (to 9 percent). These findings strengthen the hypothesis that thymus-dependent, cell-mediated autoimmune destruction of pancreatic B cells is responsible for the pathogenesis of diabetes in this experimental animal.

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