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Novartis Found Symp. 2003;252:146-60; discussion 160-4, 203-10.

CD1d-restricted NKT regulatory cells: functional genomic analyses provide new insights into the mechanisms of protection against Type 1 diabetes.

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Autoimmunity/Diabetes Group, Robarts Research Institute, University of Western Ontario, 1400 Western Road, London, ON, Canada N6G 2V4.


Deficiencies in NKT cell number and function mediate the development of Type 1 diabetes (TID). NKT cell activation with the CD1d ligand alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer) corrects these deficiencies and prevents the onset and recurrence of T1D in NOD mice. To investigate how alpha-GalCer accomplishes this, we conducted three sets of studies. First, gene microarray analyses showed that alpha-GalCer treatment decreases interleukin (IL)16 and increases IL10 and MIP1beta gene expression in the spleen. Anti-IL16 antibody treatment protects NOD mice against insulitis and T1D, and neutralization of MIP1beta abrogates IL4 induced protection from T1D. Second, alpha-GalCer treatment of NOD.ILA(-/-) mice demonstrated that IL4 expression is required for prevention of T1D but not for NKT cell development. Third, we found that diabetes resistance in three novel congenic NOD.B6Idd4 mouse strains is associated with an increased number of NKT cells in pancreatic lymph nodes (PLNs). This increase was not evident in the spleen or PLNs of NOD.MIP1a(-/-) mice after alpha-GalCer treatment. Our data suggest that MIP1beta is a candidate gene in Idd4 that regulates NKT cell function and diabetes susceptibility. By controlling the expression and activity of IL16 and MIP1beta alpha-GalCer treatment may modulate the number, localization and function of NKT cells and regulate susceptibility to T1D.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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