Leukocytes infiltrating the pancreatic islets of nonobese diabetic mice are transformed into inactive exiles by combinational anti-cell adhesion therapy.J Leukoc Biol. 2001 Oct; 70(4):510-7.JL
Leukocytes infiltrate the pancreatic islets of nonobese diabetic mice, causing beta-cell destruction and autoimmune Type I diabetes. Here, we completely blocked adoptive transfer of diabetes and reduced spontaneous disease incidence from 71% to 17% by simultaneously administering a combination of antibodies directed against alpha4, beta2, and beta7 integrins and their ligands VCAM-1, MAdCAM-1, and ICAM-1 for 52 and 28 days, respectively. CD4 and CD8 T cells and macrophages were excluded from islets and remained entrapped in a peri-islet location as inactive exiles, no longer expressing normal levels of interferon-gamma, interleukin-4, and iNOS. Only IL-10 expression was retained, which could aid immunosuppression. Infiltrating leukocytes retained a peri-islet location, even 215 days following suspension of antibody treatment, potentially forming a barrier to the entry of active, autoantigen-reactive T cells. Combination treatment was effective against spontaneous disease when administered from 7 days of age but ineffective when initiated late in the prediabetic period (day 40 or 70). Nevertheless, anti-alpha4 subunit mAb monotherapy alone was very effective, reducing insulitis to levels similar to those obtained with combinational antibody treatment, suggesting that alpha4 integrins are major receptors contributing to leukocyte infiltration. Treatment with anti-alpha4 integrin antibody retained some therapeutic benefit when administered from days 7, 40, or 70 of age. The results have implications for the treatment of diabetes and provide a unique insight into the fate of disease-forming leukocytes following anti-CAM therapy.