The nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse strain provides a model system for human autoimmune diabetes. This disease model is extensively used not only to examine the etiology and pathogenesis of diabetes, but also as a means to evaluate therapies. In NOD mice, the disease progresses from insulitis to islet destruction and clinical diabetes in a high percentage of female mice. In this study, androgen therapy, begun after the onset of insulitis, was found to prevent islet destruction and diabetes without eliminating the islet inflammation in female NOD mice. However, diabetes can be adoptively transferred into such hormone-treated recipients. The prevention of disease onset by androgen is likely due to the hormonal alteration of the development or function of the immune cells necessary for islet destruction.

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