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Tolerogenic Delivery of a Hybrid Insulin Peptide Markedly Prolongs Islet Graft Survival in the Non-Obese Diabetic (NOD) Mouse

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posted on 10.01.2022, 18:46 authored by Braxton L. Jamison, James E. DiLisio, K. Scott Beard, Tobias Neef, Brenda Bradley, Jessica Goodman, Ronald G. Gill, Stephen D. Miller, Rocky L. Baker, Kathryn Haskins
The induction of antigen (Ag)-specific tolerance and replacement of islet β-cells are major ongoing goals for the treatment of Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). Our group previously showed that a hybrid insulin peptide (2.5HIP) is a critical autoantigen for diabetogenic CD4+ T cells in the non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse model. In this study, we investigated whether induction of Ag-specific tolerance using 2.5HIP-coupled tolerogenic nanoparticles (NPs) could protect diabetic NOD mice from disease recurrence upon syngeneic islet transplantation. Islet graft survival was significantly prolonged in mice treated with 2.5HIP NPs, but not NPs containing the insulin B chain peptide 9-23. Protection in 2.5HIP NP-treated mice was attributed both to the simultaneous induction of anergy in 2.5HIP-specific effector T cells and to the expansion of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells specific for the same antigen. Notably, our results indicate that effector function of graft-infiltrating CD4+ and CD8+ T cells specific for other β-cell epitopes was significantly impaired, suggesting a novel mechanism of therapeutically induced linked suppression. This work establishes that tolerance induction with a hybrid insulin peptide can delay recurrent autoimmunity in NOD mice, which could inform the development of an Ag-specific therapy for T1D.


This work was supported by National Institutes of Health [R01-DK-081166 (K.H.), R21-AI-133059 (R.L.B.), F31-DK-113693 (B.L.J.)], and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation [2-SRA-2018-566-S-B (K.H.), 2-SRA-2020-907-S-B (K.H.)].