The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of dendritic cell (DC) transfers on the incidence of diabetes in female nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Groups of 4-wk-old NOD female mice were given a single foot pad of DCs (70-90% purity) isolated from the draining lymph nodes (LN) of the pancreas (PLN), the cervical LNs, or the axillary/inguinal LNs. In addition, other groups of NOD mice received purified spleen DCs, purified PLN T cells (the major contaminating population in DC preparations), or the injection vehicle PBS. All groups were monitored for diabetes for one year. Significant protection from diabetes was observed in NOD mice receiving greater than 1 x 10(4) PLN DCs in comparison to mice receiving other DCs populations, PLN T cells, or PBS (P less than 0.05). The pancreata of NOD mice that received PLN DCs demonstrated significantly lower levels of lymphocytic infiltration in the islets that age-sex matched nondiabetic female NOD control mice (P less than 0.05). LN cells from nondiabetic NOD mice that received PLN DC protected irradiated female recipients from the adoptive transfer of diabetes to a greater degree than LN cells from age and sex matched nondiabetic female NOD mice that did not receive PLN DC transfers at 36 d (P = 0.014) and at 1 yr (P = 0.0015) after transfer. These data suggest that the PLN DC transfers are able to modulate autoimmunity and limit diabetes expression in the NOD mouse. PLN DCs transfers may regulate autoimmunity by the induction of regulatory cells.
Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice develop spontaneous autoimmune Type 1 diabetes (T1D) that results from the destruction of insulin secreting β cells by diabetogenic T cells. The activation of autoreactive T cells occurs in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLN) from where effector T cells migrate to the pancreas. This study was designed to explore whether T cell populations in the NOD PLN expand in a predictable and reproducible way during disease progression. Complementary determining region (CDR) 3 length spectratype analysis of 19 TCR Vβ families was used to identify the relative frequency of T populations in PLN of 4 and 10 week old NOD mice and mice at T1D onset. Significant and highly reproducible changes in specific T cell populations were detected in 14 of Vβ families tested at all stages of disease. However, of these, the CDR3 spectratype of only four Vβ families was significantly more perturbed at T1D onset than in 10 week old mice. Intriguingly, when diabetes was induced in 10 week old mice with cyclophosphamide (CYP) the same four Vβ families, Vβ5.1, Vβ9, Vβ10, and Vβ15, were again significantly more perturbed than in the untreated non-diabetic age matched mice. Taken together the data show that while T cell responses in PLN of NOD mice are heterogeneous, they are ordered and consistent throughout disease development. The finding that within this heterogeneous response four Vβ families are significantly more perturbed in diabetic mice, whether spontaneous or induced, strongly suggests their selection as part of the disease process.
Autoimmune disease; TCR; CDR3; Diabetes; Pancreatic lymph nodes; Perturbation
Immunotherapy using peptides from the β-cell antigen GAD65 can preserve glucose homeostasis in diabetes-prone NOD mice; however, the precise mechanisms that arrest islet-reactive T cells remain unresolved. Our previous work revealed that a dominant GAD65 epitope contained two overlapping I-Ag7–restricted determinants, 524-538 and 530-543, with the former associated with amelioration of hyperglycemia. Here, we sought to discover whether p524-538–specific T cells could directly regulate islet-reactive T cells.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Prediabetic NOD mice were used to determine the relationship between peptide p524-538–induced interleukin (IL)-13 and regulation of islet autoimmunity. Pancreatic lymph node (PLN) cells from mice at distinct stages of islet inflammation, peri-insulitis versus invasive insulitis, were harvested to establish the expression pattern of IL-13 receptor α1 (IL-13Rα1) on islet-associated T cells.
Peptide p524-538 preferentially induced IL-13–producing T cells that antagonized the release of γ-interferon by spontaneously arising GAD65 autoimmunity, and recombinant human IL-13 inhibited proliferation of islet-reactive clonotypic T cells. A subset of CD4+ T cells in NOD and NOD.BDC2.5 T cell receptor transgenic mice expressed functional IL-13Rα1, which induced phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 in the presence of cognate cytokine. Notably, the number of IL-13Rα1+ T cells was heightened in the PLN of young NOD mice when compared with older female counterparts with advanced insulitis. Immunization with p524-538 preserved IL-13Rα1 expression on PLN T cells.
IL-13 may be important for regulating autoimmunity in the early stages of insulitis, and the loss of IL-13Rα1 on islet-reactive T cells may be a biomarker for fading regional immune regulation and progression to overt diabetes.
In the present study, we investigated the therapeutic potential of a selective S1P1 receptor modulator, ponesimod, to protect and reverse autoimmune diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Ponesimod was administered orally to NOD mice starting at 6, 10, 13 and 16 weeks of age up to 35 weeks of age or to NOD mice showing recent onset diabetes. Peripheral blood and spleen B and T cell counts were significantly reduced after ponesimod administration. In pancreatic lymph nodes, B lymphocytes were increased and expressed a transitional 1-like phenotype. Chronic oral ponesimod treatment efficiently prevented autoimmune diabetes in 6, 10 and 16 week-old pre-diabetic NOD mice. Treatment withdrawal led to synchronized disease relapse. Ponesimod did not inhibit the differentiation of autoreactive T cells as assessed by adoptive transfer of lymphocytes from treated disease-free NOD mice. In addition, it did not affect the migration, proliferation and activation of transgenic BDC2.5 cells into the target tissue. However, ponesimod inhibited spreading of the T cell responses to islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP). Treatment of diabetic NOD mice with ponesimod induced disease remission. However, here again, upon treatment cessation, the disease rapidly recurred. This recurrence was effectively prevented by combination treatment with a CD3 antibody leading to the restoration of self-tolerance. In conclusion, treatment with a selective S1P1 modulator in combination with CD3 antibody represents a promising therapeutic approach for the treatment of autoimmune diabetes.
Autoimmune diabetes (T1D) onset is preceded by a long inflammatory process directed against the insulin-secreting β cells of the pancreas. Deciphering the early autoimmune mechanisms represents a challenge due to the absence of clinical signs at early disease stages. The aim of this study was to identify genes implicated in the early steps of the autoimmune process, prior to inflammation, in T1D. We have previously established that insulin autoantibodies (E-IAA) predict early diabetes onset delineating an early phenotypic check point (window 1) in disease pathogenesis. We used this sub-phenotype and applied differential gene expression analysis in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLN) of 5 weeks old Non Obese Diabetic (NOD) mice differing solely upon the presence or absence of E-IAA. Analysis of gene expression profiles has the potential to provide a global understanding of the disease and to generate novel hypothesis concerning the initiation of the autoimmune process.
Animals have been screened weekly for the presence of E-IAA between 3 and 5 weeks of age. E-IAA positive or negative NOD mice at least twice were selected and RNAs isolated from the PLN were used for microarray analysis. Comparison of transcriptional profiles between positive and negative animals and functional annotations of the resulting differentially expressed genes, using software together with manual literature data mining, have been performed.
The expression of 165 genes was modulated between E-IAA positive and negative PLN. In particular, genes coding for insulin and for proteins known to be implicated in tissue remodelling and Th1 immunity have been found to be highly differentially expressed. Forty one genes showed over 5 fold differences between the two sets of samples and 30 code for extracellular proteins. This class of proteins represents potential diagnostic markers and drug targets for T1D.
Our data strongly suggest that the immune related mechanisms taking place at this early age in the PLN, correlate with homeostatic changes influencing tissue integrity of the adjacent pancreatic tissue. Functional analysis of the identified genes suggested that similar mechanisms might be operating during pre-inflammatory processes deployed in tissues i) hosting parasitic microorganisms and ii) experiencing unrestricted invasion by tumour cells.
Despite multiple causes, Chronic Kidney Disease is commonly associated with proteinuria. A previous study on Non Obese Diabetic mice (NOD), which spontaneously develop type 1 diabetes, described histological and gene expression changes incurred by diabetes in the kidney. Because proteinuria is coincident to diabetes, the effects of proteinuria are difficult to distinguish from those of other factors such as hyperglycemia. Proteinuria can nevertheless be induced in mice by peritoneal injection of Bovine Serum Albumin (BSA). To gain more information on the specific effects of proteinuria, this study addresses renal changes in diabetes resistant NOD-related mouse strains (NON and NOD.B10) that were made to develop proteinuria by BSA overload.
Proteinuria was induced by protein overload on NON and NOD.B10 mouse strains and histology and microarray technology were used to follow the kidney response. The effects of proteinuria were assessed and subsequently compared to changes that were observed in a prior study on NOD diabetic nephropathy.
Overload treatment significantly modified the renal phenotype and out of 5760 clones screened, 21 and 7 kidney transcripts were respectively altered in the NON and NOD.B10. Upregulated transcripts encoded signal transduction genes, as well as markers for inflammation (Calmodulin kinase beta). Down-regulated transcripts included FKBP52 which was also down-regulated in diabetic NOD kidney. Comparison of transcripts altered by proteinuria to those altered by diabetes identified mannosidase 2 alpha 1 as being more specifically induced by proteinuria.
By simulating a component of diabetes, and looking at the global response on mice resistant to the disease, by virtue of a small genetic difference, we were able to identify key factors in disease progression. This suggests the power of this approach in unraveling multifactorial disease processes.
The nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse is a well-established mouse model of spontaneous type 1 diabetes, which is characterized by an autoimmune destruction of the insulin-secreting pancreatic β-cells. In this study, we address the role of tertiary lymphoid organs (TLOs) that form in the pancreas of NOD mice during disease progression.
We developed a model designed to “lock” lymphocytes in the pancreatic lymph node (PLN) and pancreas by the use of FTY720, which blocks the exit of lymphocytes from lymph nodes. A combination of flow cytometry, immunofluorescence, and analysis of clinical scores was used to study the effects of long-term FTY720 treatment on TLO development and development of diabetes.
Continuous treatment of NOD mice with FTY720 prevented diabetes development even at a time of significant insulitis. Treatment withdrawal led to accelerated disease independent of the PLN. Interestingly, naive T-cells trafficked to and proliferated in the TLOs. In addition, morphological changes were observed that occurred during the development of the disease. Remarkably, although the infiltrates are not organized into T/B-cell compartments in 8-week-old mice, by 20 weeks of age, and in age-matched mice undergoing FTY720 treatment, the infiltrates showed a high degree of organization. However, in naturally and FTY720-induced diabetic mice, T/B-cell compartmentalization was lost.
Our data show that TLOs are established during diabetes development and suggest that islet destruction is due to a loss of TLO integrity, which may be prevented by FTY720 treatment.
In humans and non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, defects in immune tolerance result in the spontaneous development of type-1-diabetes. Recent studies have ascribed a breakdown in tolerance to dysfunction in regulatory T-cells (Tregs) that is secondary to reduced IL-2 production by T-cells having the NOD diabetes susceptibility region insulin-dependent diabetes 3 (Idd3). Here we demonstrate a peripheral tolerance defect in the dendritic cells (DCs) of NOD mice that is independent of Tregs. NOD CD8 T-cells specific for islet antigens fail to undergo deletion in the pancreatic lymph nodes. Deletion was promoted by expression of the protective alleles of both Idd3 (Il2) and Idd5 in DCs. We further identify a second tolerance defect that involves endogenous CD4 T-cell expression of the disease promoting NOD alleles of these genetic regions. Pervasive insulitis can be reduced by expression of the Idd3 and Idd5 protective alleles by either the antigen-presenting cell or lymphocytes.
Autoimmunity; dendritic cells; tolerance; T cells, diabetes
Previously, we have demonstrated that short-term treatment of new onset diabetic Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice, mice that are afflicted with both type 1 (T1D) and type 2 (T2D) diabetes with either Power Mix (PM) regimen or alpha1 antitrypsin (AAT) permanently restores euglycemia, immune tolerance to self-islets and normal insulin signaling.
Methodology and Principal Findings
To search for relevant therapeutic targets, we have applied genome wide transcriptional profiling and systems biology oriented bioinformatics analysis to examine the impact of the PM and AAT regimens upon pancreatic lymph node (PLN) and fat, a crucial tissue for insulin dependent glucose disposal, in new onset diabetic non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Systems biology analysis identified tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) as the top focus gene hub, as determined by the highest degree of connectivity, in both tissues. In PLNs and fat, TNF-α interacted with 53% and 32% of genes, respectively, associated with reversal of diabetes by previous treatments and was thereby selected as a therapeutic target. Short-term anti-TNF-α treatment ablated a T cell-rich islet-invasive and beta cell-destructive process, thereby enhancing beta cell viability. Indeed anti-TNF-α treatment induces immune tolerance selective to syngeneic beta cells. In addition to these curative effects on T1D anti-TNF-α treatment restored in vivo insulin signaling resulting in restoration of insulin sensitivity.
In short, our molecular analysis suggested that PM and AAT both may act in part by quenching a detrimental TNF-α dependent effect in both fat and PLNs. Indeed, short-term anti-TNF-α mAb treatment restored enduring euglycemia, self-tolerance, and normal insulin signaling.
Due to their high immunostimulatory ability as well as the critical role they play in the maintenance of self-tolerance, dendritic cells have been implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is an animal model of autoimmune type 1 diabetes, in which pancreatic beta cells are selectively destroyed mainly by T cell-mediated immune responses. To elucidate initiation mechanisms of beta cell-specific autoimmunity, we attempted to generate bone marrow-derived dendritic cells from NOD mice. However, our results showed low proliferative response of NOD bone marrow cells and some defects in the differentiation into the myeloid dendritic cells. NOD dendritic cells showed lower expressions of MHC class II, B7-1, B7-2 and CD40, compared with C57BL/6 dendritic cells. In mixed lymphocyte reactions, stimulatory activities of NOD dendritic cells were also weak. Treatment with LPS, INF-gamma and anti-CD40 stimulated NOD dendritic cells to produce IL-12p70. The amount of IL-12, however, appeared to be lower than that of C57BL/6. Results of the present study indicated that there may be some defects in the development of NOD dendritic cells in the bone marrow, which might have an impact on the breakdown of self tolerance.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) may result from a breakdown in peripheral tolerance that is partially controlled by peripheral tissue antigen (PTA) expression in lymph nodes. Here we show that the transcriptional regulator deformed epidermal autoregulatory factor 1 (Deaf1) controls PTA gene expression in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLN). The expression of canonical Deaf1 was reduced, while that of an alternatively spliced variant was increased during the onset of destructive insulitis in the PLN of NOD mice. An equivalent variant Deaf1 isoform was identified in the PLN of T1D patients. Both NOD and human Deaf1 variant isoforms suppressed PTA expression by inhibiting the transcriptional activity of canonical Deaf1. Reduced PTA expression resulting from the alternative splicing of Deaf1 may contribute to T1D pathogenesis.
Insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is characterized by leukocyte invasion to the pancreatic tissues followed by immune destruction of the islets. Despite the important function of Th17 cells in other autoimmune disease models, their function in IDDM is relatively unclear. In this study, we found association of elevated Th17 cytokine expression with diabetes in NOD mice. To understand the function of Th17 cells in IDDM, we differentiated islet-reactive BDC2.5 TcR transgenic CD4+ cells in vitro into Th17 cells and transferred them into NOD.scid and neonate NOD mice. NOD.scid recipient mice developed rapid onset of diabetes with extensive insulitic lesions, whereas in newborn NOD mice, despite extensive insulitis, most recipient mice did not develop diabetes. Surprisingly, BDC2.5+ cells recovered from diabetic NOD.scid mice, in comparison with those from neonate NOD mice, showed predominant IFN-γ over IL-17 expression, indicating conversion of donor cells into Th1 cells. Moreover, diabetes progression in NOD.scid recipients was dependent on IFN-γ while anti-IL-17 treatment reduced insulitic inflammation. These results indicate that islet-reactive Th17 cells promote pancreatic inflammation, but only induce IDDM upon conversion into IFN-γ producers.
Th17; islet inflammation; Type-one diabetes
We generated a mouse model (MIP-Luc-VU-NOD) that enables non-invasive bioluminescence imaging (BLI) of beta cell loss during the progression of autoimmune diabetes and determined the relationship between BLI and disease progression. MIP-Luc-VU-NOD mice displayed insulitis and a decline in bioluminescence with age which correlated with beta cell mass, plasma insulin, and pancreatic insulin content. Bioluminescence declined gradually in female MIP-Luc-VU-NOD mice, reaching less than 50% of the initial BLI at 10 weeks of age, whereas hyperglycemia did not ensue until mice were at least 16 weeks old. Mice that did not become diabetic maintained insulin secretion and had less of a decline in bioluminescence than mice that became diabetic. Bioluminescence measurements predicted a decline in beta cell mass prior to the onset of hyperglycemia and tracked beta cell loss. This model should be useful for investigating the fundamental processes underlying autoimmune diabetes and developing new therapies targeting beta cell protection and regeneration.
In non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice that spontaneously develop autoimmune diabetes, plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) have a diabetes-promoting role through IFN-α production on one hand, while a diabetes-inhibiting role through indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) production on the other. Little is known about the kinetics and phenotype of pDCs in the NOD pancreas during the development of autoimmune diabetes. While para/peri-insular accumulation of conventional dendritic cells (cDCs) could be observed from 4 weeks of age onwards in NOD mice, pDCs only started to accumulate around the islets of Langerhans from 10 weeks onwards, which is concomitant with the influx of lymphocytes. NOD pancreatic pDCs showed a tolerogenic phenotype as assessed by their high expression of IDO and non-detectable levels of IFN-α and MxA. Furthermore, expression of the pDC-attracting chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL12 was significantly increased in the NOD pancreas at 10 weeks and the circulating pDC numbers were increased at 4 and 10 weeks. Our data suggest that a simultaneous accumulation of IDO+ pDCs and lymphocytes in the pancreas in 10 weeks old NOD mice, which may reflect both an immunogenic influx of T cells as well as a tolerogenic attempt to control these immunogenic T cells.
Most treatments that prevent autoimmune diabetes in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice require intervention at early pathogenic stages, when insulitis is first developing. We tested whether dendritic cell (DC)–expanded, islet antigen–specific CD4+ CD25+ suppressor T cells could treat diabetes at later stages of disease, when most of the insulin-producing islet β cells had been destroyed by infiltrating lymphocytes. CD4+ CD25+ CD62L+ regulatory T cells (T reg cells) from BDC2.5 T cell receptor transgenic mice were expanded with antigen-pulsed DCs and IL-2, and were then injected into NOD mice. A single dose of as few as 5 × 104 of these islet-specific T reg cells blocked diabetes development in prediabetic 13-wk-old NOD mice. The T reg cells also induced long-lasting reversal of hyperglycemia in 50% of mice in which overt diabetes had developed. Successfully treated diabetic mice had similar responses to glucose challenge compared with nondiabetic NOD mice. The successfully treated mice retained diabetogenic T cells, but also had substantially increased Foxp3+ cells in draining pancreatic lymph nodes. However, these Foxp3+ cells were derived from the recipient mice and not the injected T reg cells, suggesting a role for endogenous T reg cells in maintaining tolerance after treatment. Therefore, inoculation of DC-expanded, antigen-specific suppressor T cells has considerable efficacy in ameliorating ongoing diabetes in NOD mice.
OBJECTIVE—NOD mice model human type 1 diabetes and are used to investigate tolerance induction protocols for islet transplantation in a setting of autoimmunity. However, costimulation blockade–based tolerance protocols have failed in prolonging islet allograft survival in NOD mice.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—To investigate the underlying mechanisms, we studied the ability of costimulation blockade to prolong islet allograft survival in congenic NOD mice bearing insulin-dependent diabetes (Idd) loci that reduce the frequency of diabetes.
RESULTS—The frequency of diabetes is reduced in NOD.B6 Idd3 mice and is virtually absent in NOD.B6/B10 Idd3 Idd5 mice. Islet allograft survival in NOD.B6 Idd3 mice treated with costimulation blockade is prolonged compared with NOD mice, and in NOD.B6/B10 Idd3 Idd5, mice islet allograft survival is similar to that achieved in C57BL/6 mice. Conversely, some Idd loci were not beneficial for the induction of transplantation tolerance. Alloreactive CD8 T-cell depletion in (NOD × CBA)F1 mice treated with costimulation blockade was impaired compared with similarly treated (C57BL/6.H2g7 × CBA)F1 mice. Injection of exogenous interleukin (IL)-2 into NOD mice treated with costimulation prolonged islet allograft survival. NOD.B6 Idd3 mice treated with costimulation blockade deleted alloreactive CD8 T-cells and exhibited prolonged islet allograft survival.
CONCLUSIONS—Il2 is the Idd3 diabetes susceptibility gene and can influence the outcome of T-cell deletion and islet allograft survival in mice treated with costimulation blockade. These data suggest that Idd loci can facilitate induction of transplantation tolerance by costimulation blockade and that IL-2/Idd3 is a critical component in this process.
Pdx1 is a key transcription factor involved in the regulation of insulin gene expression that is expressed at high levels in the β-cells of the pancreatic islets. We asked whether Pdx1 is a target of anti-islet autoimmunity in Type 1 diabetes (T1D). Pdx1 autoantibodies (PAA) were detected in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice using ELISA, Western blotting, and radioimmunoprecipitation of [35S]-labeled insulinoma cell line-derived Pdx1 protein. PAA were detected as early as at 5 weeks of age, and generally peaked before the onset of clinically overt diabetes in diabetes-prone female NOD mice. Levels declined substantially after diabetes onset. PAA were not detected in the sera of NOD-scid, C57BL/6 or BALB/c mice. The titers of PAA in NOD mouse sera were as high as 1/93750 by ELISA. The fine specificity of PAA was determined by Western blotting using a series of truncated recombinant Pdx1 proteins. The immunodominant epitopes were located to the Pdx1 C-terminus (p200-283) in NOD mice. PAA also were detected in sera from human T1D patients, but the major epitopes were localized to amino acids 159-200 as well as the same region (p200-283) recognized by PAA from NOD mice. Using [3H]-thymidine incorporation, the p83 fragment of Pdx1 specifically stimulated proliferation of splenic T-cells from recent-onset diabetic NOD mice. The presence of PAA in prediabetic NOD mice and human T1D patients and Pdx1-specific T-cell proliferation in NOD mice provide a strong rationale for further investigation of the pathogenic role of immune responses against Pdx1 in T1D.
Non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice develop an autoimmune exocrinopathy that shows similarities with Sjögren’s syndrome. They provide an experimental model to study the pathoetiogenesis of this disease.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Salivary gland (SG) function and salivary sodium content were measured in 8-, 12-, 16- and 20-week-old NOD and age-matched CB6 mice. In NOD mice, SG expression of phenotypic cell markers, B cell-stimulating and costimulatory molecules were evaluated. Cytokine levels were measured in serum and SG homogenates.
Microscopically evident SG inflammation in NOD mice was preceded by expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 on epithelial cells in the presence of macrophages and relatively high levels of cytokines. Next, an influx consisting of mainly T, B, natural killer, plasma and dendritic cells was seen. Most cytokines, except for interleukin (IL)12 /IL23p40 and B cell-activating factor, decreased or remained stable over time, while glandular function deteriorated from 16 weeks of age onward compared with CB6 mice.
Sjögren’s syndrome-like disease in NOD mice occurs in multiple stages; immunological and physiological abnormalities can be detected before focal inflammation appears and salivary output declines. Extrapolating this knowledge to human subjects could help in understanding the pathogenesis and aid the identification of potential therapeutic targets.
Sjögren’s syndrome; salivary gland; autoimmune sialadenitis; non-obese diabetic mouse; immunology
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) can locally suppress T cell-mediated immune responses. It has been shown that defective self-tolerance in early prediabetic female non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice can be attributed to the impaired interferon-gamma (IFN-γ)- induced IDO expression in dendritic cells of these animals. As IFN-γ can induce IDO in both dendritic cells and fibroblasts, we asked the question of whether there exists a similar defect in IFN-γ-induced IDO expression in NOD mice dermal fibroblasts. To this end, we examined the effect of IFN-γ on expression of IDO and its enzymatic activity in NOD dermal fibroblasts. The results showed that fibroblasts from either prediabetic (8 wks of age) female or male, and diabetic female or male (12 and 24 wks of age respectively) NOD mice failed to express IDO in response to IFN-γ treatment. To find underlying mechanisms, we scrutinized the IFN- γ signaling pathway and investigated expression of other IFN-γ-modulated factors including major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) and type I collagen (COL-I). The findings revealed a defect of signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1) phosphorylation in NOD cells relative to that of controls. Furthermore, we found an increase in MHC-I and suppression of COL-I expression in fibroblasts from both NOD and control mice following IFN-γ treatment; indicating that the impaired response to IFN-γ in NOD fibroblasts is specific to IDO gene. Finally, we showed that an IFN-γ-independent IDO expression pathway i.e. lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-mediated-c-Jun kinase is operative in NOD mice fibroblast. In conclusion, the findings of this study for the first time indicate that IFN-γ fails to induce IDO expression in NOD dermal fibroblasts; this may partially be due to defective STAT1 phosphorylation in IFN-γ-induced-IDO signaling pathway.
Rotaviruses are implicated as a viral trigger for the acceleration of type 1 diabetes in children. Infection of adult non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice with rotavirus strain RRV accelerates diabetes development, whereas RRV infection in infant NOD mice delays diabetes onset. In this study of infant mice, RRV titers and lymphocyte populations in the intestine, mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and thymus of NOD mice were compared with those in diabetes-resistant BALB/c and C57BL/6 mice. Enhanced intestinal RRV infection occurred in NOD mice compared with the other mouse strains. This was associated with increases in the frequency of CD8αβ TCRαβ intraepithelial lymphocytes, and their PD-L1 expression. Virus spread to the MLN and T cell numbers there also were greatest in NOD mice. Thymic RRV infection is shown here in all mouse strains, often in combination with alterations in T cell ontogeny. Infection lowered thymocyte numbers in infant NOD and C57BL/6 mice, whereas thymocyte production was unaltered overall in infant BALB/c mice. In the NOD mouse thymus, effector CD4+ T cell numbers were reduced by infection, whereas regulatory T cell numbers were maintained. It is proposed that maintenance of thymic regulatory T cell numbers may contribute to the increased suppression of inflammatory T cells in response to a strong stimulus observed in pancreatic lymph nodes of adult mice infected as infants. These findings show that rotavirus replication is enhanced in diabetes-prone mice, and provide evidence that thymic T cell alterations may contribute to the delayed diabetes onset following RRV infection.
We and others have previously demonstrated that treatment with bone marrow derived DC genetically modified to express IL-4 reduce disease pathology in mouse models of collagen-induced arthritis and delayed-type hypersensitivity. Moreover, treatment of normoglycemic NOD mice with bone marrow derived DC, genetically modified to express interleukin 4 (IL-4), reduces the onset of hyperglycemia in a significant number of animals. However, the mechanism(s) through which DC expressing IL-4 function to prevent autoimmune diabetes and whether this treatment can reverse disease in pre-diabetic NOD mice are unknown.
DC were generated from the bone marrow of NOD mice and transduced with adenoviral vectors encoding soluble murine IL-4 (DC/sIL-4), a membrane-bound IL-4 construct, or empty vector control. Female NOD mice were segregated into normoglycemic (<150mg/dL) and prediabetic groups (between 150 and 250 mg/dL) on the basis of blood glucose measurements, and randomized for adoptive transfer of 106 DC via a single i.v. injection. A single injection of DC/sIL-4, when administered to normoglycemic 12-week old NOD mice, significantly reduced the number of mice that developed diabetes. Furthermore, DC/sIL-4, but not control DC, decreased the number of mice progressing to diabetes when given to prediabetic NOD mice 12–16 weeks of age. DC/sIL-4 treatment also significantly reduced islet mononuclear infiltration and increased the expression of FoxP3 in the pancreatic lymph nodes of a subset of treated animals. Furthermore, DC/sIL-4 treatment altered the antigen-specific Th2:Th1 cytokine profiles as determined by ELISPOT of splenocytes in treated animals.
Adoptive transfer of DC transduced to express IL-4 into both normoglycemic and prediabetic NOD mice is an effective treatment for T1D.
The development of autoimmune diabetes in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse is controlled by at least three recessive loci, including one linked to the MHC. To determine whether any of these genetic loci exert their effects via the immune system, radiation bone marrow chimeras were constructed in which (NOD X B10)F1-irradiated recipients were reconstituted with NOD bone marrow cells. Unmanipulated (NOD X B10)F1 mice, or irradiated F1 mice reconstituted with F1 or B10 bone marrow, did not display insulitis or diabetes. In contrast, insulitis was observed in a majority of the NOD----F1 chimeras and diabetes developed in 21% of the mice. These data demonstrate that expression of the diabetic phenotype in the NOD mouse is dependent on NOD-derived hematopoietic stem cells. Diabetogenic genes in the NOD mouse do not appear to function at the level of the insulin-producing beta cells since NOD----F1 chimeras not only developed insulitis and diabetes but also rejected beta cells within pancreas transplants from newborn B10 mice. These data suggest that the beta cells of the NOD mouse do not express a unique antigenic determinant that is the target of the autoimmune response.
Viruses can cause but can also prevent autoimmune disease. This dualism has certainly hampered attempts to establish a causal relationship between viral infections and type 1 diabetes (T1D). To develop a better mechanistic understanding of how viruses can influence the development of autoimmune disease, we exposed prediabetic mice to various viral infections. We used the well-established NOD and transgenic RIP-LCMV models of autoimmune diabetes. In both cases, infection with the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) completely abrogated the diabetic process. Interestingly, such therapeutic viral infections resulted in a rapid recruitment of T lymphocytes from the islet infiltrate to the pancreatic draining lymph node, where increased apoptosis was occurring. In both models this was associated with a selective and extensive expression of the chemokine IP-10 (CXCL10), which predominantly attracts activated T lymphocytes, in the pancreatic draining lymph node, and in RIP-LCMV mice it depended on the viral antigenic load. In RIP-LCMV mice, blockade of TNF-α or IFN-γ in vivo abolished the prevention of T1D. Thus, virally induced proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines can influence the ongoing autoaggressive process beneficially at the preclinical stage, if produced at the correct location, time, and levels.
BACKGROUND: The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse is a model of human type 1 diabetes in which autoreactive T cells mediate destruction of pancreatic islet beta cells. Although known to be triggered by cytotoxic T cells, apoptosis has not been unequivocally localized to beta cells in spontaneously diabetic NOD mice. We created a model of accelerated beta-cell destruction mediated by T cells from spontaneously diabetic NOD mice to facilitate the direct detection of apoptosis in beta cells. MATERIALS AND METHODS: NOD.scid (severe combined immunodeficiency) mice were crossed with bm1 mice transgenically expressing the costimulatory molecule B7-1 (CD80) in their beta cells, to generate B7-1 NOD.scid mice. Apoptosis in islet cells was measured as DNA strand breakage by the TdT-mediated-dUTP-nick end labeling (TUNEL) technique. RESULTS: Adoptive transfer of splenocytes from spontaneously diabetic NOD mice into B7-1 NOD.scid mice caused diabetes in recipients within 12-16 days. Mononuclear cell infiltration and apoptosis were significantly greater in the islets of B7-1 NOD.scid mice than in nontransgenic NOD.scid mice. Dual immunolabeling for TUNEL and either B-7 or insulin, or the T cell markers CD4 and CD8, and colocalization by confocal microscopy clearly demonstrated apoptosis in beta cells as well in a relatively larger number of infiltrating T cells. The clearance time of apoptotic beta cells was estimated to be less than 6 min. CONCLUSIONS: B7-1 transgenic beta cells undergo apoptosis during their accelerated destruction in response to NOD mouse effector T cells. Rapid clearance implies that beta cells undergoing apoptosis would be detected only rarely during more protracted disease in spontaneously diabetic NOD mice.
We have generated transgenic nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice expressing dominant negative mutant IFN-gamma receptors on pancreatic beta cells to investigate whether the direct effects of IFN-gamma on beta cells contribute to autoimmune diabetes. We have also quantitated by flow cytometry the rise in class I MHC on beta cells of NOD mice with increasing age and degree of islet inflammatory infiltrate. Class I MHC expression increases gradually with age in wild-type NOD mice; however, no such increase is observed in the transgenic beta cells. The transgenic mice develop diabetes at a similar rate to that of wild-type animals. This study dissociates class I MHC upregulation from progression to diabetes, shows that the rise in class I MHC is due to local IFN-gamma action, and eliminates beta cells as the targets of IFN-gamma in autoimmune diabetes.