Regulation of autoimmune diabetes by interleukin 3-dependent bone marrow-derived cells in NOD mice

J Autoimmun. 1997 Aug;10(4):331-8. doi: 10.1006/jaut.1997.0142.


Interleukin-3 (IL-3), a multilineage colony stimulating factor, has been shown to augment alloreactive bone marrow-derived suppressor cell activity in vivo and in vitro. The present study examined the effect of IL-3 on autoimmune-mediated diabetes in NOD mice. Administration of IL-3 twice weekly starting at 2-4 weeks of age delayed the onset and reduced the overall incidence of diabetes. Bone marrow cells obtained from IL-3-treated NOD mice protected NOD mice from cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes but failed to prevent adoptively transferred diabetes. In vitro culture of bone marrow cells in medium containing IL-3 produced a Thy-1+CD3epsilonloCD4-CD8-CD25- immature T cell clone which prevented cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes. The cloned cells also effectively delayed the development of diabetes induced by transfer of T cells in adult thymectomized, irradiated, bone marrow-reconstituted NOD mice. These results suggest that IL-3 is capable of regulating extrathymic T cell development from the bone marrow and that these cells mediate strong immunoregulatory function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adoptive Transfer
  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity
  • Bone Marrow / immunology*
  • Bone Marrow / pathology
  • Clone Cells
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Immunosuppression
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Interleukin-3 / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Prediabetic State / etiology
  • Prediabetic State / immunology
  • Prediabetic State / prevention & control
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / pathology


  • Interleukin-3