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Mol Ther. 2010 Feb;18(2):307-16. doi: 10.1038/mt.2009.197. Epub 2009 Aug 18.

Genetic-induced variations in the GAD65 T-cell repertoire governs efficacy of anti-CD3/GAD65 combination therapy in new-onset type 1 diabetes.

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Division of Developmental Immunology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California 92037, USA.


To enhance efficacy of forthcoming type 1 diabetes (T1D) clinical trials, combination therapies (CTs) are envisaged. In this study, we showed that efficacy of a CT, using anti-CD3 antibody and glutamic acid decarboxylase of 65 kd (GAD65)-expressing plasmid, to reverse new-onset T1D was dependent upon the genetic background. Synergism between both treatments was only observed in the RIP-LCMV-GP but not in the nonobese diabetic (NOD) or RIP-LCMV-NOD models. Efficacy was associated with an expansion of bystander suppressor regulatory T cells (Tregs) recognizing the C-terminal region of GAD65 and secreting interleukin-10 (IL-10), transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta), and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma). In addition, we found that frequency and epitope specificity of GAD65-reactive CD4(+) T cells during antigen priming at diabetes onset and Tregs detected after CT correlated. Consequently, NOD mice harbored significantly lower levels of GAD65-reactive CD4(+) T cells than RIP-LCMV-GP before and after treatment. Our results demonstrate that antigen-specific T cells available at treatment may differ between various major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and genetic backgrounds. These cells play a major role in shaping T-cell responses following antigen-specific immune intervention and determine whether a beneficial Tregs response is generated. Our findings hold important implications to understand and predict the success of antigen-based clinical trials, where responsiveness to immunotherapy might vary from patient to patient.

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