Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Diabetes. 2009 Jun;58(6):1302-11. doi: 10.2337/db08-1113. Epub 2009 Mar 16.

Inhibition of Th17 cells regulates autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta,Canada.



The T helper 17 (Th17) population, a subset of CD4-positive T-cells that secrete interleukin (IL)-17, has been implicated in autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis and lupus. Therapeutic agents that target the Th17 effector molecule IL-17 or directly inhibit the Th17 population (IL-25) have shown promise in animal models of autoimmunity. The role of Th17 cells in type 1 diabetes has been less clear. The effect of neutralizing anti-IL-17 and recombinant IL-25 on the development of diabetes in NOD mice, a model of spontaneous autoimmune diabetes, was investigated in this study.


Although treatment with either anti-IL-17 or IL-25 had no effect on diabetes development in young (<5 weeks) NOD mice, either intervention prevented diabetes when treatment was started at 10 weeks of age (P < 0.001). Insulitis scoring and immunofluorescence staining revealed that both anti-IL-17 and IL-25 significantly reduced peri-islet T-cell infiltrates. Both treatments also decreased GAD65 autoantibody levels. Analysis of pancreatic lymph nodes revealed that both treatments increased the frequency of regulatory T-cells. Further investigation demonstrated that IL-25 therapy was superior to anti-IL-17 during mature diabetes because it promoted a period of remission from new-onset diabetes in 90% of treated animals. Similarly, IL-25 delayed recurrent autoimmunity after syngeneic islet transplantation, whereas anti-IL-17 was of no benefit. GAD65-specific ELISpot and CD4-positive adoptive transfer studies showed that IL-25 treatment resulted in a T-cell-mediated dominant protective effect against autoimmunity.


These studies suggest that Th17 cells are involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes. Further development of Th17-targeted therapeutic agents may be of benefit in this disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk