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Diabetes. 2006 Jan;55(1):179-85.

Transforming growth factor-beta and natural killer T-cells are involved in the protective effect of a bacterial extract on type 1 diabetes.

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INSERM U580, Hôpital Necker-Enfants Malades, 161 Rue de Sèvres, 75015 Paris, France.


The onset of type 1 diabetes in NOD mice is delayed by oral administration of a bacterial extract (OM-85) and can be completely prevented by its intraperitoneal administration. Optimal prevention is observed when starting treatment at 3 or 6 weeks of age, and some effect is still observed with treatment at 10 weeks of age. Using genetically deficient mice and cytokine-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies, we demonstrate here that the therapeutic effect does not involve T-helper type 2 cytokines (interleukin [IL]-4 and -10) but is tightly dependent on transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta. Natural killer T-cells also participate in the therapeutic effect because CD1d(-/-) NOD mice are partially resistant to the protective effect of OM-85. The question remains of the specificity of the protective effect of OM-85, which may include proinflammatory components. It will thus be important to further characterize the molecular components that afford protection from type 1 diabetes. Lipopolysaccharide is excluded, but other Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists could be involved because OM-85 stimulated dendritic cells and induced TGF-beta production by splenocytes in a TLR-2-, TLR-4-, and MyD88-dependent fashion.

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