In vivo and in vitro effects of theophylline administration in recent onset, Type I, diabetic patients

A. Secchi, F. Crosti, M. R. Pastore, D. Pavoni, L. Falqui, P. Navone, A. E. Pontiroli, G. F. Ciboddo, C. Rugarli, G. Pozza

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The metabolic and immunologic effects of short and long-term theophylline administration in recent onset Type I diabetic patients were studied in association with 'theophylline sensitivity' of lymphocytes in vitro as a marker of suppressive functions. Eighteen recent onset Type I diabetic patients entered the trial. Five were treated with theophylline (800 mg/d) for 1 mo (group A), 5 were treated with the theophylline (800 mg/d) for 8 mo (group B) and 8 were treated with placebo tablets (group C) in double blind. All patients were followed-up for 16-32 mo. A relationship between sensitivity to theophylline evaluated as inhibition of lymphocyte blastogenic response to Con A and the achievement of remission was observed. At the beginning of the study 8 patients were theophylline sensitive (Th+) (5 of group A, 2 of group B and 1 of group C) and 7 patients were theophylline resistant (Th-) (2 of group B and 5 of group C). Among the 9 Th+ patients, 6 reached the remission phase, while of the 7 Th- patients only 2 reached the remission phase. A high percentage (7/10) of the theophylline-treated patients achieved remission (4 of group A and 3 of group B), while only 3 of the 8 placebo treated patients achieved remission. In vivo theophylline effects were not improved by the longer (8 mo) treatment period. These results show that Th sensitivity in vitro can be considered a precocious marker of the clinical response to immunomodulating drugs in Type I diabetic patients. The favourable effects of theophylline treatment might provide the possibility of an immunomodulating drug free of side effects for recent onset Type I diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-118
Number of pages6
JournalDiabetes, Nutrition and Metabolism - Clinical and Experimental
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science

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