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Oral Antibody Protects Mice from Developing Diabetes

Anti-CD3 antibody induces immune tolerance

TUESDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Mice that are treated with an anti-CD3 antibody, which has been previously shown to induce immune tolerance and is an effective treatment for diabetes in animals and humans, are protected from developing autoimmune diabetes in an animal model of the disease, researchers report in the August issue of Diabetes.

Howard L. Weiner, M.D., and colleagues from Harvard Medical School in Boston, fed mice treated with streptozocin, which induces autoimmunity against pancreatic islet beta-cells, an anti-CD3 antibody.

The researchers found that the anti-CD3 antibody suppressed the development of diabetes, lowered cell proliferation in the spleen, and changed T-helper cell responses in the periphery. The antibody increased the secretion of transforming growth factor-beta and protection from diabetes was dependent on this cytokine.

"Our results demonstrate that oral anti-CD3 is effective in the model of streptozocin-induced diabetes and may be a useful form of therapy for type 1 diabetes in humans," Weiner and colleagues conclude.

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