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International Journal of Experimental Diabetes Research
Volume 3, Issue 1, Pages 37-45

The Non-Immune RIP-kb Mouse is a Useful Host for Islet Transplantation, as the Diabetes is Spontaneous, Mild and Predictable

1Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, PO Royal Melbourne Hospital, 3050, Australia
2The Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Parkville 3052, Australia

Received 3 July 2001; Revised 15 October 2001

Copyright © 2002 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chemically-induced diabetic mice and spontaneously diabetic NOD mice have been valuable as recipients for experimental islet transplantation. However, their maintenance often requires parenteral insulin. Diabetogenic chemicals can be cytotoxic to the host’s immune system and to other organs some of which are often used as the transplant site. Procurement of diabetic cohorts in the NOD mouse is problematic due to variability in the age of disease onset. We show that RIP-Kb mice, which spontaneously develop non-immune diabetes due to over-expression of the H-2Kb heavy chain in beta cells, offer many advantages as islet transplant recipients. Diabetes is predictable with a relatively narrow range of onset (4 wk) and blood glucose levels (23.0± 4.0 mmol/l for 39 males at 6 weeks of age). The diabetes is mild enough so that most diabetic mice can be maintained to 40 weeks of age without parenteral insulin. This consistency of diabetes avails that outcomes of intervention can be interpreted with confidence.