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J Autoimmun. 1997 Jun;10(3):287-92.

Immunization therapies in the prevention of diabetes.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, NIH, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Insulin-dependent diabetes (IDD), being an autoimmune disease, offers several opportunities for immunological interventions that may result either in the reduction of disease severity or in delaying diabetes onset. Among the various experimental preventative approaches, parenteral immunization with islet-specific autoantigens appears to be practically simpler and promising. We have previously shown that immunization with insulin, insulin B chain and B chain epitope (p9-23), but not insulin A chain, in incomplete Freund's adjuvant (IFA) and in alum (with B chain) delayed/prevented diabetes onset in NOD mice. Here we demonstrate the protective efficacy of affinity purified GAD65 in IFA. While both insulin B chain and GAD65 significantly delayed the onset of diabetes (P=0.001), a recently described tyrosine phosphatase (IA-2) antigen did not (P=0.38). Interestingly, B chain immunization reduced the incidence of cyclophosphamide (CY)-accelerated diabetes by about 50-55%. We also provide further evidence that B chain, upon increased adsorption to alum, could improve on its protective capacity in NOD mice.

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