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J Exp Med. 2006 Nov 27;203(12):2737-47. Epub 2006 Nov 20.

Insulin-induced remission in new-onset NOD mice is maintained by the PD-1-PD-L1 pathway.

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UCSF Diabetes Center, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, and Transplantation Research Center, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The past decade has seen a significant increase in the number of potentially tolerogenic therapies for treatment of new-onset diabetes. However, most treatments are antigen nonspecific, and the mechanism for the maintenance of long-term tolerance remains unclear. In this study, we developed an antigen-specific therapy, insulin-coupled antigen-presenting cells, to treat diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice after disease onset. Using this approach, we demonstrate disease remission, inhibition of pathogenic T cell proliferation, decreased cytokine production, and induction of anergy. Moreover, we show that robust long-term tolerance depends on the programmed death 1 (PD-1)-programmed death ligand (PD-L)1 pathway, not the distinct cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 pathway. Anti-PD-1 and anti-PD-L1, but not anti-PD-L2, reversed tolerance weeks after tolerogenic therapy by promoting antigen-specific T cell proliferation and inflammatory cytokine production directly in infiltrated tissues. PD-1-PD-L1 blockade did not limit T regulatory cell activity, suggesting direct effects on pathogenic T cells. Finally, we describe a critical role for PD-1-PD-L1 in another powerful immunotherapy model using anti-CD3, suggesting that PD-1-PD-L1 interactions form part of a common pathway to selectively maintain tolerance within the target tissues.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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