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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Dapsone decreases the cumulative incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic female mice.

Dapsone (4,4'-diaminodiphenyl sulfone) has a large clinical experience due to its antimicrobial effects against Mycobacterium leprae, the causative agent of leprosy, and is used clinically where inflammation mediated by neutrophils is perceived to play a role. We administered dapsone in two concentrations (0.001% and 0.0001% w/w of diet) to 30 female non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice to explore the effect of dapsone on the development of IDDM following either a 1-week pulse or 20 weeks of continuous oral dapsone administration. Those mice receiving either the high or low doses of dapsone in the continuous group had a significantly reduced cumulative percentage of onset of IDDM. One of the seven mice given 0.0001% dapsone became diabetic (age 25 weeks), while none of the eight high dose (0.001%) mice developed the disease. Histological examination of pancreatic sections revealed islet infiltration in all groups of animals. The pulse and continuous experiments showed no statistically significant difference in the frequency or severity of lymphocytic infiltration. Dapsone administration did not inhibit growth, and growth rates were greater in those animals receiving the higher dapsone dose compared with the lower dose comparable to controls. We studied whether dapsone influenced murine lymphocyte function in addition to the published effects of the drug on neutrophils. At doses approximating those achieved in vivo (0.4 and 2 micrograms/ml), dapsone was found to inhibit murine splenocyte IL-2 and IL-4 secretion in response to concanavalin A. In view of the wide clinical experience with dapsone, randomized trials of the drug in new onset diabetes may be warranted.[1]


  1. Dapsone decreases the cumulative incidence of diabetes in non-obese diabetic female mice. Peterson, K.P., Van Hirtum, M., Peterson, C.M. Proc. Soc. Exp. Biol. Med. (1997) [Pubmed]
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