It has been reported that lactate dehydrogenase virus (LDV) selectively infects a subpopulation of macrophages, thereby affecting the immune system. We studied the effects of LDV infection on the development of diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Five-week-old female NOD mice were infected with LDV (108 ID50/mouse) and observed until 23 weeks of age. None of the 21-LDV-infected mice developed diabetes, whereas 10 14 (71.4%) uninfected mice did. Although the subpopulations of T cells and the percentage of Mac1-positive cells in the NOD murine spleen and the number of harvested peritoneal macrophages were unaffected by LDV infection, the proportions of Ia-positive peritoneal macrophages were significantly decreased in LDV-infected compared with uninfected mice (1.1 ± 0.2%, 6.5 ± 2.9%; P < 0.01). In LDV-infected NOD mice, insulitis of the same grade as that seen in uninfected NOD mice was observed. In another experiment, 3, 5, 10 or 16-week-old female NOD mice were infected with LDV. None of the mice infected with LDV at 3, 5 or 10 weeks of age developed diabetes and only one of six infected at 16 weeks of age did. These findings indicate that LDV infection suppresses the development of diabetes in female NOD mice by reducing the capacity of Ia-positive macrophages, and suggest that the development of human type 1 diabetes may be suppressed by certain viral infections.
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