Reversal of Type 2 Diabetes in Mice by Products of Malaria Parasites: I. Effect of Inactivated Parasites

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C57BL/KsJ-db/db and C57BL/KsJ-ob/ob mice are good models for studies on human obesity and type 2 diabetes. We have previously shown that infection with blood-stage malaria or injection of extracts from malaria-parasitized red blood cells induces hypoglycemia in normal mice and normalizes hyperglycemia in mice made moderately diabetic by streptozotocin. In the present study, we show that a single intravenous (IV) injection of Formalin-fixed Plasmodium yoelii YM (FFYM) preparation decreases blood glucose in db/db mice from an initial value of 19 mmol/L to a normal value of 7 mmol/L (P < .0001) for at least 24 hours and reduces food intake. Plasma insulin concentrations in db/db mice were not altered. FFYM was also active in normal and ob/ob mice, an effect associated with an increase in plasma insulin. Although the rate of weight gain in lean ob/+ and lean db/+ was not altered by this treatment, there was a significant reduction in weight gain in db/db and ob/ob mice (P < .001). We suggest that malaria-derived molecules, when fully characterized, may provide structural information for the development of new agents for the management of type 2 diabetes.



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