Immune response in the mutant diabetic C57BL/Ks-dt+ mouse. Discrepancies between in vitro and in vivo immunological assays

J Clin Invest. 1978 Feb;61(2):243-50. doi: 10.1172/JCI108933.


Cell-mediated and humoral immune responses of mutant diabetic db+/db+ mice were evaluated using in vivo and in vitro immunological assays. When compared to lean, nondiabetic db+/m+ or m+/m+ mice, db+/db+ mice demonstrated markedly altered in vivo immune responses characterized by a significantly diminished ability to reject allogeneic skin grafts, a markedly diminished capacity to generate cytotoxic cells after sensitization with allogeneic EL-4 lymphoma cells and a significantly enhanced plaque-forming cell response to sheep erythrocytes. In contrast, spleen cells from db+/db+ mice demonstrated only minimal alterations in in vitro responses to mitogens and allogeneic cells and no alteration in their capacity to generate an in vitro plaque-forming cell response. The spleens and thymuses of db+/db+ mice weighed significantly less than organs from db+/db+ mice. In addition, thymuses from db+/db+ mice demonstrated a marked deficiency in in vivo [125I]UdR uptake. These data suggest that the altered metabolic status of the diabetic host influences immune function in vivo possibly due to abnormal function of lymphocyte subpopulations.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytotoxicity Tests, Immunologic
  • DNA / biosynthesis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Hemolytic Plaque Technique
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size
  • Skin Transplantation
  • Spleen / immunology
  • Spleen / metabolism
  • Thymus Gland / immunology
  • Thymus Gland / metabolism
  • Transplantation Immunology
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • DNA