Remission of autoimmune diabetes by anti-TCR combination therapies with anti-IL-17A or/and anti-IL-6 in the IDDM rat model of type 1 diabetes

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Abstract

Background: The cytokine IL-17 is a key player in autoimmune processes, while the cytokine IL-6 is responsible for the chronification of inflammation. However, their roles in type 1 diabetes development are still unknown. Methods: Therefore, therapies for 5 days with anti-IL-17A or anti-IL-6 in combination with a T cell-specific antibody, anti-TCR, or in a triple combination were initiated immediately after disease manifestation to reverse the diabetic metabolic state in the LEW.1AR1-iddm (IDDM) rat, a model of human type 1 diabetes. Results: Monotherapies with anti-IL-6 or anti-IL-17 showed no sustained anti-diabetic effects. Only the combination therapy of anti-TCR with anti-IL-6 or anti-IL-17 at starting blood glucose concentrations up to 12 mmol/l restored normoglycaemia. The triple antibody combination therapy was effective even up to very high initial blood glucose concentrations (17 mmol/l). The β cell mass was raised to values of around 6 mg corresponding to those of normoglycaemic controls. In parallel, the apoptosis rate of β cells was reduced and the proliferation rate increased as well as the islet immune cell infiltrate was strongly reduced in double and abolished in triple combination therapies. Conclusions: The anti-TCR combination therapy with anti-IL-17 preferentially raised the β cell mass as a result of β cell proliferation while anti-IL-6 strongly reduced β cell apoptosis and the islet immune cell infiltrate with a modest increase of the β cell mass only. The triple combination therapy achieved both goals in a complimentary anti-autoimmune and anti-inflammatory action resulting in sustained normoglycaemia with normalized serum C-peptide concentrations.

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Jörns, A., Ishikawa, D., Teraoku, H., Yoshimoto, T., Wedekind, D., & Lenzen, S. (2020). Remission of autoimmune diabetes by anti-TCR combination therapies with anti-IL-17A or/and anti-IL-6 in the IDDM rat model of type 1 diabetes. BMC Medicine, 18(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-020-1503-6

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