Stimulating IL-13 Receptors on T cells: A New Pathway for Tolerance Induction in Diabetes?­

  1. F. Susan Wong
  1. Center for Diabetes and Endocrine Sciences, Cardiff University School of Medicine, Cardiff, U.K.
  1. Corresponding author: F. Susan Wong, wongfs{at}cardiff.ac.uk.

There is a pressing need for immunotherapy to halt the progression of β-cell damage after the onset of diabetes, and the hope is to find a means for reversal of the disease. However, prevention of diabetes is equally important. Given the strength and diversification of a fully developed autoimmune response, it is likely to be easier to protect from disease progression and prevent onset of diabetes at a much earlier time point in the disease process. The nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse model of human type 1 diabetes is often criticized for the fact that many manipulations in the early phases of disease process are successful in disease prevention. Note that far fewer treatments are able to protect the NOD mice at later stages of prediabetes, and even fewer reverse diabetes after onset of hyperglycemia (rev. in 1). However, some treatments that have reversed diabetes in the NOD mouse, for example anti-CD3 monoclonal antibody (2), heat shock protein 60 peptide (3), anti-CD20 monoclonal antibody (4), and antithymocyte globulin (5), have reached clinical trials and had partial success. However, currently, as we cannot know whether some preventive strategies identified for early disease in the NOD mouse may ultimately be useful in humans, it is important to continue to study early treatments and the mechanisms by which they work.

Although in recent years many studies have focused on …

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