Low doses of lysine deacetylase inhibitors, which are used to treat lymphoma, can prevent the host immune response from attacking insulin-producing beta cells in mice that would otherwise develop type 1 diabetes, reports a team led by researchers at the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark (Christensen DP et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014;111:1055-1059).
The anticancer drugs were given at 100-fold lower concentrations than doses needed to reduce tumor size in vitro and in animals. When weaning mice received vorinostat or givinostat in their drinking water until 100 to 120 days, diabetes incidence was reduced from 50% to 12% and from 69% to 25%, respectively. Treatment increased insulin production and caused fewer immune cells to enter the pancreas, with a 16% increase in the percentage of islets without immune cell infiltration.
Hampton T. Anticancer Drugs Reduce Type 1 Diabetes Incidence in Mice. JAMA. 2014;311(9):894. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.1870