Specific inhibition of autoimmune T cell transmigration contributes to β cell functionality and insulin synthesis in Non-obese Diabetic (NOD) mice

Alexei Y. Savinov, Dmitri V. Rozanov, Alex Y. Strongin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Human diabetes mellitus (IDDM; type I diabetes) is a T cell-mediated disease that is closely modeled in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. The pathogenesis of IDDM involves the transmigration of autoimmune T cells into the pancreatic islets and the subsequent destruction of insulin-producing β cells. Therapeutic interventions leading to β cell regeneration and the reversal of established IDDM are exceedingly limited. We report here that specific inhibition of T cell intra-islet transmigration by using a small molecule proteinase inhibitor restores β cell functionality, increases insulin-producing β cell mass, and alleviates the severity of IDDM in acutely diabetic NOD mice. As a result, acutely diabetic NOD mice do not require insulin injections for survival for a significant time period, thus providing a promising clue to effect IDDM reversal in humans. The extensive morphometric analyses and the measurements of both the C-peptide blood levels and the proinsulin mRNA levels in the islets support our conclusions. Diabetes transfer experiments suggest that the inhibitor specifically represses the T cell transmigration and homing processes as opposed to causing immunosuppression. Overall, our data provide a rationale for the pharmacological control of the T cell transmigration step in human IDDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32106-32111
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number44
StatePublished - Nov 2 2007


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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