The immunobiology of apotransferrin in type 1 diabetes

K. Mangano, P. Fagone, M. Di Mauro, E. Ascione, V. Maiello, T. Milicic, A. Jotic, N. M. Lalic, T. Saksida, I. Stojanovic, C. Selmi, C. Farina, S. Stosic-Grujicic, P. Meroni, F. Nicoletti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The transferrin (Tf) family of iron binding proteins includes important endogenous modulators of the immune function that may modulate autoimmune diseases. To define more clearly the role of apotransferrin (apoTf) in type 1 diabetes we determined the impact of this protein on type 1 diabetes as investigated in islet cells, animal models and patient sera. First, we demonstrated that recombinant apoTf counteracts the cytokine-induced death of murine pancreatic islet cells. Secondly, human apoTf administration favourably influences the course of type 1 diabetes in animal models, resulting in protection against disease development that was associated with reduction of insulitis and reduced levels of proinflammatory cytokines. Finally, we confirmed that patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes manifest significantly lower apoTf serum levels compared to healthy controls and patients with long-lasting disease. In conclusion, our data suggest the apoTf pivotal role in the perpetuation of type 1 diabetes pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244-252
Number of pages9
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012


  • Biomarker
  • Insulitis
  • Iron
  • NOD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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