Author(s): Van YH, Lee WH, Ortiz S, Lee MH, Qin HJ,
Abstract Share this page
Abstract OBJECTIVE: All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a potent derivative of vitamin A, can regulate immune responses. However, its role in inducing immune tolerance associated with the prevention of islet inflammation and inhibition of type 1 diabetes remains unclear. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We investigated the mechanisms underlying the potential immunoregulatory effect of ATRA on type 1 diabetes using an adoptive transfer animal model of the disease. RESULTS: Our data demonstrated that ATRA treatment inhibited diabetes in NOD mice with established insulitis. In addition, it suppressed interferon (IFN)-gamma-producing CD4(+) and CD8(+) T effector (Teff) cells and expanded T regulatory (Treg) cells in recipient mice transferred with diabetic NOD splenocytes, without affecting either interleukin (IL)-17--or IL-4-producing cells. Consistent with these results, ATRA reduced T-bet and STAT4 expression in T-cells and decreased islet-infiltrating CD8(+) T-cells, suppressing their activation and IFN-gamma/granzyme B expression. Depletion of CD4(+)CD25(+) Treg cells impaired the inhibitory effect of ATRA on islet-infiltrating T-cells and blocked its protective effect on diabetes. Therefore, ATRA treatment induced Treg cell-dependent immune tolerance by suppressing both CD4(+) and CD8(+) Teff cells while promoting Treg cell expansion. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that ATRA treatment promoted in vivo expansion of Treg cells and induced Treg cell-dependent immune tolerance by suppressing IFN-gamma-producing T-cells, without affecting Th17 cells. Our study also provides novel insights into how ATRA induces immune tolerance in vivo via its effects on Teff and Treg cells.
This article was published in Diabetes
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology