Faculty Advisor

Adams, David S.


Type I insulin dependent diabetes mellitus is an auto-immune disorder characterized by hyperglycemia due to insulin deficiency. The destruction of the insulin producing pancreatic -islet cells is proposed to be caused by the migration of auto-reactive T-cells to the pancreas, mediated by cytokines and chemokines. Diabetes can be induced in a susceptible rat model by injections of poly IC. Measurements of various cytokine levels by ELISA, after treatment of diabetes-resistant and susceptible rat strains with poly IC, allowed for the characterization of cytokine responses prior to the onset of diabetes. With the exception of MCP-1, all cytokines measured were produced in equivalent amounts by diabetes-resistant and susceptible rat strains. IL-2 appears not to be directly involved in the onset of diabetes. INF- and RANTES were necessary but not sufficient for the induction of diabetes. Decreased levels of MCP-1 were associated with diabetes resistance.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 1999



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology