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EPMA J. 2010 Mar;1(1):46-55. doi: 10.1007/s13167-010-0009-2. Epub 2010 Mar 19.

The potential role of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) as a predictive and therapeutic target for diabetes treatment: a mythical truth.

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Department of Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia Augusta, Georgia, 30912 USA.


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which a T-cell-mediated reaction demolishes insulin-producing cells of pancreatic islets. Inadequacy of insulin therapy has motivated research focused on mechanisms by which autoimmune reactions can be suppressed. In recent years, the role of indoleamine 2,3 dioxygenase (IDO) in regulation of immune system has been extensively investigated. Initially, IDO was recognized as a host defense mechanism. However, recent studies have suggested an immunomodulatory role for IDO which may contribute to the induction of immune tolerance. In this review, we concentrate on the role of IDO in several pathologic conditions with a focus on T1D to rationalize our hypothesis regarding the potential for inclusion of IDO in certain therapeutic strategies aimed at early detection, treatment or ideally cure of chronic and autoimmune diseases such as T1D.

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