Oligofructose as an adjunct in treatment of diabetes in NOD mice

Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 22;6:37627. doi: 10.1038/srep37627.


In type 1 diabetes, restoration of normoglycemia can be achieved if the autoimmune attack on beta cells ceases and insulin requirement is met by the residual beta cells. We hypothesize that an adjunctive therapy that reduces insulin demand by increasing insulin sensitivity will improve the efficacy of an immunotherapy in reversing diabetes. We tested the gut microbiota-modulating prebiotic, oligofructose (OFS), as the adjunctive therapy. We treated non-obese diabetic mice with an immunotherapy, monoclonal anti-CD3 antibody (aCD3), with or without concurrent dietary supplement of OFS. After 8 weeks of OFS supplement, the group that received both aCD3 and OFS (aCD3 + OFS) had a higher diabetes remission rate than the group that received aCD3 alone. The aCD3 + OFS group had higher insulin sensitivity accompanied by reduced lymphocytic infiltrate into the pancreatic islets, higher beta-cell proliferation rate, higher pancreatic insulin content, and secreted more insulin in response to glucose. The addition of OFS also caused a change in gut microbiota, with a higher level of Bifidobacterium and lower Clostridium leptum. Hence, our results suggest that OFS can potentially be an effective therapeutic adjunct in the treatment of type 1 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function, leading to improved glycemic control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • CD3 Complex / immunology
  • Cell Proliferation / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / drug therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / microbiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / pathology
  • Feces / microbiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Homeostasis / drug effects
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / drug effects
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Oligosaccharides / pharmacology
  • Oligosaccharides / therapeutic use*


  • CD3 Complex
  • Insulin
  • Oligosaccharides
  • oligofructose
  • Glucose