OBJECTIVE - To investigate a new clinically relevant immunoregulatory strategy based on treatment with murine Thymoglobulin mATG Genzyme and CTLA4-Ig in NOD mice to prevent alloand autoimmune activation using a stringent model of islet transplantation and diabetes reversal. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - Using allogeneic islet transplantation models as well as NOD mice with recent onset type 1 diabetes, we addressed the therapeutic efficacy and immunomodulatory mechanisms associated with a new immunoregulatory protocol based on prolonged low-dose mATG plus CTLA4-Ig. RESULTS - BALB/c islets transplanted into hyperglycemic NOD mice under prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment showed a pronounced delay in allograft rejection compared with untreated mice (mean survival time: 54 vs. 8 days, P <0.0001). Immunologic analysis of mice receiving transplants revealed a complete abrogation of autoimmune responses and severe downregulation of alloimmunity in response to treatment. The striking effect on autoimmunity was confirmed by 100% diabetes reversal in newly hyperglycemic NOD mice and 100% indefinite survival of syngeneic islet transplantation (NOD.SCID into NOD mice). CONCLUSIONS - The capacity to regulate alloimmunity and to abrogate the autoimmune response in NOD mice in different settings confirmed that prolonged mATG+CTLA4-Ig treatment is a clinically relevant strategy to translate to humans with type 1 diabetes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism