Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Commentary
  • Published:

The NOD mouse model of type 1 diabetes: As good as it gets?


Of the two well-known rodent models of human type 1 diabetes (the non-obese diabetic mouse and the BioBreeding rat) the mouse has become the model of choice. Here the authors re-examine the value of this mouse model as a tool for understanding human diabetes and for testing potential therapies, reviewing both strengths and weaknesses.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Figure 1: Insulitis in humans and NOD mouse pancreas.


  1. Leiter, E.H. & Atkinson, M.A. NOD mice and related strains: Research applications in diabetes, AIDS, cancer and other diseases in Medical Intelligence Unit (R.G. Landes, Austin, 1998 ).

    Google Scholar 

  2. Delovitch, T.L. & Singh, B. The nonobese diabetic mouse as a model of autoimmune diabetes - immune dysregulation gets the NOD. Immunity 7, 727–738 (1997).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Rabinovich, A. An update of cytokines in the pathogenesis of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus . Diabetes Metab. Rev. 14, 129– 151 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Takahashi, K., Honeyman, M.C. & Harrison, L.C. Impaired yield, phenotype, and function of monocyte-derived dendritic cells in humans at risk for insulin dependent diabetes. J. Immunol. 161, 2629–2635 (1998).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Ellerman, K.E., Richards, C.A., Guberski, D.L., Shek, W.R. & Like, A.A. Kilham rat virus triggers T-cell-dependent autoimmune diabetes in multiple strains of rats. Diabetes 45, 557–562 (1996).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Komeda, K. et al. Establishment of 2 substrains, diabetes-prone and nondiabetic, from Long-Evans Tokushima-Lean (LETL) rats. J. Endocrinol. 45, 737–744 (1998).

    CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Atkinson, M., Leiter, E. The NOD mouse model of type 1 diabetes: As good as it gets?. Nat Med 5, 601–604 (1999).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing