Standardized bovine colostrum derivative impedes development of type 1 diabetes in rodents

Immunobiology. 2017 Feb;222(2):272-279. doi: 10.1016/j.imbio.2016.09.013. Epub 2016 Sep 24.


Bovine colostrum is a rich source of nutrients and immunologically active components that play a role in conveying passive immunity to the offspring, protection and maturation of new-born's gastrointestinal tract. Colostrum has exerted positive effects in diseases affecting gastrointestinal tract, as well as type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, health-promoting effects in type 1 diabetes have not been reported. The aim of this study was to investigate therapeutic value of oral administration of standardized bovine colostrum derivative (SBCD) in three models of type 1 diabetes (T1D): spontaneously developed T1D in NOD mice and BB-DP rats, and in chemically induced T1D in C57BL/6 mice with multiple low doses of streptozotocin (MLDS). SBCD was administered per os and the disease development was evaluated by weekly measurement of blood glucose and by histological analyses of the pancreas. SBCD administration prevented diabetes development in all three models, as indicated by euglicaemia. Ex vivo analysis of cytokine expression and production in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) in MLDS challenged mice revealed a strong modulation of the immune response. In the MLN cells SBCD disrupted harmful Th17 response induced by MLDS. Expression of Th1 signature cytokine IFN-γ was down-regulated in MLN cells of SBCD-treated mice, while IL-4 secretion (Th2 cytokine) was up-regulated in comparison to diabetic group. Modulation of the immune response seen in the MLN protruded to the spleen, giving overall less infiltration of immune cells to the pancreas. SBCD acted on immune cells and halted (auto) aggression towards pancreatic beta cells. Moreover, SBCD induced beta cell proliferation. Hence, this derivative could be tested in diabetes and other similar diseases with aberrant immune response.

Keywords: Beta cell; Bovine colostrum; Inflammation; T lymphocytes; Type 1 diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose
  • Cattle
  • Colostrum / immunology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / mortality
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / pathology
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Hyperglycemia / etiology
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Rats
  • Rodentia
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism


  • Blood Glucose
  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Glucose