Early administration of an immunomodulator and induction of remission in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

J Autoimmun. 1990 Oct;3(5):611-7. doi: 10.1016/s0896-8411(05)80028-9.


A clinical trial was undertaken to determine whether intensive thymopentin administration enhances remission of insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM) during the first year after diagnosis. Dosage with insulin was minimized with target control of blood glucose levels less than or equal to 7.8 mmol/l before meals. Remission was defined as a prolonged period after IDDM onset (not less than 3 months) characterized by a non-insulin-receiving (NIR) state in which target metabolic control was reached without administration of insulin and with a valid C-peptide response, evaluated after standard breakfast. Sixteen IDDM patients aged 12-31 years, recruited within 2 weeks of initiation of insulin therapy and within 5 weeks of onset of symptoms, were treated with intravenous (i.v.) thymopoietin32-36 pentapeptide (Thy) (1 mg/kg/body weight) for 7 days and twice per week for up to 3 months. A control IDDM group without initial significant differences in metabolic control parameters was also studied. No difference was observed between the two IDDM groups regarding the after-diagnosis normalization curve of HbA1c; mean daily glycemic level rates and ICA titer decreased during the observation. A reduction in anti-insulin antibodies (AIA) in Thy-treated patients was observed in comparison to conventionally treated IDDM starting from 6 months and reaching a reduction peak at 1 year (P less than or equal to 0.02). As regards the NIR remission rate, it was significantly more accelerated in Thy-treated patients, reaching 43% at 6 months and 57% at 1 year vs 12% and 6.7% respectively in the control IDDM group (P range less than or equal to 0.05-0.02).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • C-Peptide / blood
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / drug therapy*
  • Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2 / blood
  • Remission Induction
  • Thymopentin / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • C-Peptide
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Interleukin-2
  • Hemoglobin A
  • Thymopentin