We evaluated the effects of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HOT) on autoimmune diabetes development in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Animals received no treatment or daily 60-min HOT 100% oxygen (HOT-100%) at 2.0 atmospheres absolute and were monitored for diabetes onset, insulitis, infiltrating cells, immune cell function, and β-cell apoptosis and proliferation. Cyclophosphamide-induced diabetes onset was reduced from 85.3% in controls to 48% after HOT-100% (P < 0.005) and paralleled by lower insulitis. Spontaneous diabetes incidence reduced from 85% in controls to 65% in HOT-100% (P = 0.01). Prediabetic mice receiving HOT-100% showed lower insulitis scores, reduced T-cell proliferation upon stimulation in vitro (P < 0.03), increased CD62L expression in T cells (P < 0.04), reduced costimulation markers (CD40, DC80, and CD86), and reduced major histocompatibility complex class II expression in dendritic cells (DCs) (P < 0.025), compared with controls. After autoimmunity was established, HOT was less effective. HOT-100% yielded reduced apoptosis (transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling-positive insulin-positive cells; P < 0.01) and increased proliferation (bromodeoxyuridine incorporation; P < 0.001) of insulin-positive cells compared with controls. HOT reduces autoimmune diabetes incidence in NOD mice via increased resting T cells and reduced activation of DCs with preservation of β-cell mass resulting from decreased apoptosis and increased proliferation. The safety profile and noninvasiveness makes HOT an appealing adjuvant therapy for diabetes prevention and intervention trials.
- Received April 15, 2011.
- Accepted March 4, 2012.
- © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.
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