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1.  Deaf1 isoforms control the expression of genes encoding peripheral tissue antigens in the pancreatic lymph nodes during type 1 diabetes 
Nature immunology  2009;10(9):1026-1033.
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.
doi:10.1038/ni.1773
PMCID: PMC2752139  PMID: 19668219
2.  Tissue-targeted therapy of autoimmune diabetes using dendritic cells transduced to express IL-4 in NOD mice 
Clinical immunology (Orlando, Fla.)  2008;127(2):176-187.
A deficit in IL-4 production has been previously reported in both diabetic human patients and non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. In addition, re-introducing IL-4 into NOD mice systemically, or as a transgene, led to a beneficial outcome in most studies. Here, we show that prediabetic, 12-wk old female NOD mice have a deficit in IL-4 expression in the pancreatic lymph nodes (PLN) compared to age-matched diabetes-resistant NOD.B10 mice. By bioluminescence imaging, we demonstrated that the PLN was preferentially targeted by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (DCs) following intravenous (IV) administration. Following IV injection of DCs transduced to express IL-4 (DC/IL-4) into 12-wk old NOD mice, it was possible to significantly delay or prevent the onset of hyperglycemia. We then focused on the PLN to monitor, by microarray analysis, changes in gene expression induced by DC/IL-4 and observed a rapid normalization of the expression of many genes, that were otherwise under-expressed compared to NOD.B10 PLN. The protective effect of DC/IL-4 required both MHC and IL-4 expression by the DCs. Thus, adoptive cellular therapy, using DCs modified to express IL-4, offers an effective, tissue-targeted cellular therapy to prevent diabetes in NOD mice at an advanced stage of pre-diabetes, and may offer a safe approach to consider for treatment of high risk human pre-diabetic patients.
doi:10.1016/j.clim.2007.12.009
PMCID: PMC2453076  PMID: 18337172
3.  Gene therapy for type 1 diabetes: a novel approach for targeted treatment of autoimmunity 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2004;114(7):892-894.
It has been difficult to develop therapies that target those T cells initiating and mediating the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Indeed, most current treatments indiscriminately affect both the autoreactive T cells and the “good” T cells, putting the patient at risk of compromised immune function. A new approach raises the possibility of targeted therapy for autoimmunity. Transplantation of hematopoietic stem cells modified to express a protective form of MHC class II corrects a defect in central tolerance. This method contrasts with other targeted therapies that attempt to modify peripheral tolerance, which is also defective in type 1 diabetes mellitus.
doi:10.1172/JCI200423168
PMCID: PMC518674  PMID: 15467826

Results 1-3 (3)