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Clin Dev Immunol. 2011;2011:286248. doi: 10.1155/2011/286248. Epub 2011 May 14.

Antigen-based immune therapeutics for type 1 diabetes: magic bullets or ordinary blanks?

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INSERM, U986, DeAR Lab Avenir, Saint Vincent de Paul Hospital, 82 avenue Denfert Rochereau, 75674 Paris Cedex 14, France.


The ideal drug of modern medicine is the one that achieves its therapeutic target with minimal adverse effects. Immune therapy of Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is no exception, and knowledge of the antigens targeted by pathogenic T cells offers a unique opportunity towards this goal. Different antigen formulations are being considered, such as proteins or peptides, either in their native form or modified ad hoc, DNA plasmids, and cell-based agents. Translation from mouse to human should take into account important differences, particularly in the time scale of autoimmune progression, and intervention. Critical parameters such as administration route, dosing and interval remain largely empirical and need to be further dissected. T1D staging through immune surrogate markers before and after treatment will be key in understanding therapeutic actions and to finally turn ordinary blanks into magic bullets.

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