Although we have previously reported an elevated serum level of CXCL10/IP-10 (CXCL10), a Th1 chemokine, in type 1 diabetic patients, little is known about the origin of serum CXCL10 and its significance in type 1 diabetes. Therefore, we examined serum CXCL10 level in NOD mice in association with the expression level of CXCL10 in the pancreas, pancreatic lymph nodes (LN) and spleen. Serum CXCL10 level increased over time towards the onset of diabetes, and was significantly higher in the "diabetic" period (20 and 24 weeks of age and at onset of diabetes) than in the "pre-diabetic" period (4, 8 and 16 weeks of age). Moreover, serum CXCL10 level was associated with CXCL10 and CXCR3 mRNA level in pancreatic LN. Furthermore, it seemed that serum CXCL10 level increased just before (or at) the onset of overt diabetes. These results suggest that serum CXCL10 level may reflect accumulation of Th1 lymphocytes in pancreatic LN, and measurement of serum CXCL10 level may be useful to assess the pathophysiology of the disease course in type 1 diabetes.