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Diabetes. 2009 Jan;58(1):146-55. doi: 10.2337/db08-1154. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

All-trans retinoic acid inhibits type 1 diabetes by T regulatory (Treg)-dependent suppression of interferon-gamma-producing T-cells without affecting Th17 cells.

Author information

1
Division of Immunology, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope, Duarte, California, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a potent derivative of vitamin A, can regulate immune responses. However, its role in inducing immune tolerance associated with the prevention of islet inflammation and inhibition of type 1 diabetes remains unclear.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

We investigated the mechanisms underlying the potential immunoregulatory effect of ATRA on type 1 diabetes using an adoptive transfer animal model of the disease.

RESULTS:

Our data demonstrated that ATRA treatment inhibited diabetes in NOD mice with established insulitis. In addition, it suppressed interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T effector (Teff) cells and expanded T regulatory (Treg) cells in recipient mice transferred with diabetic NOD splenocytes, without affecting either interleukin (IL)-17--or IL-4-producing cells. Consistent with these results, ATRA reduced T-bet and STAT4 expression in T-cells and decreased islet-infiltrating CD8(+) T-cells, suppressing their activation and IFN-gamma/granzyme B expression. Depletion of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells impaired the inhibitory effect of ATRA on islet-infiltrating T-cells and blocked its protective effect on diabetes. Therefore, ATRA treatment induced Treg cell-dependent immune tolerance by suppressing both CD4(+) and CD8(+) Teff cells while promoting Treg cell expansion.

CONCLUSIONS:

These results demonstrate that ATRA treatment promoted in vivo expansion of Treg cells and induced Treg cell-dependent immune tolerance by suppressing IFN-gamma-producing T-cells, without affecting Th17 cells. Our study also provides novel insights into how ATRA induces immune tolerance in vivo via its effects on Teff and Treg cells.

PMID:
18984738
PMCID:
PMC2606864
DOI:
10.2337/db08-1154
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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