Residual β-cells found at the time of clinical onset of type 1 diabetes are sufficient to control hyperglycemia if rescued from ongoing autoimmune destruction. The challenge, however, is to develop an immunotherapy that not only selectively suppresses the diabetogenic response and efficiently reverses diabetes, but also establishes long-term β-cell–specific tolerance to maintain remission. In the current study, we show that a short course of nondepleting antibodies (Ab) specific for the CD4 and CD8 coreceptors rapidly reversed clinical disease in recent-onset diabetic NOD mice. Once established, remission was maintained indefinitely and immunity to foreign antigens unimpaired. Induction of remission involved selective T-cell purging of the pancreas and draining pancreatic lymph nodes and upregulation of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1 by pancreas-resident antigen-presenting cells. Neutralization of TGF-β blocked the induction of remission. In contrast, maintenance of remission was associated with tissue-specific immunoregulatory T cells. These findings demonstrate that the use of nondepleting Ab specific for CD4 and CD8 is a robust approach to establish long-term β-cell–specific T-cell tolerance at the onset of clinical diabetes.
- Received January 26, 2012.
- Accepted May 1, 2012.
- © 2012 by the American Diabetes Association.
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