The aim of this study was to determine whether low-dose, oral methotrexate therapy would prolong the remission phase at the onset of Type 1 diabetes. Ten newly diagnosed, nonacidotic, ICA-positive, Type 1 diabetics were randomly assigned to receive either methotrexate (5 mg/m(2)/week) or no immunosuppressive treatment. The study was not blinded and no placebo was given. Endogenous insulin production was assessed every 3 months by fasting and Sustacal-stimulated C-peptide levels. Methotrexate therapy was not beneficial in prolonging islet survival as assessed by fasting and stimulated C-peptide levels. Insulin requirements were generally lower in the control group, and islet failure, determined by an insulin requirement of >0.7 u/kg/day, occurred earlier for those receiving MTX (P < 0.02). Side effects of methotrexate treatment were minimal. There was no benefit from methotrexate therapy, and methotrexate therapy was associated with an earlier increase in insulin requirements.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.