DNA vaccination of autoimmune diabetes-prone NOD mice with unmodified target islet antigens, i.e., preproinsulin (PPIns) or glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), is poorly protective. However, in this study, we demonstrate protection against disease by covaccination with a mutant B7-1 molecule (B7-1wa) that binds the negative T cell regulator CTLA-4 (CD152), but not CD28. Codelivery of plasmids encoding a PPIns-GAD65 fusion construct and B7-1wa protected against both insulitis and diabetes. In vitro, the T cells of covaccinated mice had negative responses to both insulin and GAD65, and this was restored by adding blocking antibodies to transforming growth factor β1 (TGF-β1), suggesting a role for this cytokine. Adoptive transfer experiments revealed that DNA vaccination generated protective CD4+regulatory T cells (Tr) of either CD25+or CD25-phenotype. Furthermore, vaccinated mice had increased numbers of T cells with Tr-associated markers, such as CTLA-4, Foxp3, and membrane-bound TGF-β1. Tr cells inhibited the responses of diabetogenic T cells to islet antigens, and depletion of T cells expressing membrane-bound TGF-β1 abolished the suppressive effect. Thus, selective engagement of CTLA-4 during islet-antigen DNA vaccination induces Tr cells that protect against this autoimmune disease. © 2006 The American Society of Gene Therapy.
Glinka, Y., Chang, Y., & Prud’homme, G. J. (2006). Protective Regulatory T Cell Generation in Autoimmune Diabetes by DNA Covaccination with Islet Antigens and a Selective CTLA-4 Ligand. Molecular Therapy, 14(4), 578–587. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymthe.2006.03.021