Author(s): Oikawa Y, Shimada A, Kasuga A, Morimoto J, Osaki T,
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Abstract IL-18 is now identified as a pleiotropic cytokine that acts as a cofactor for both Th1 and Th2 cell development. Type 1 diabetes is considered a Th1-type autoimmune disease, and to date, the suppressive effect of exogenous IL-18 on the development of diabetes has been reported in 10-wk-old nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. In the present study we administered exogenous IL-18 systemically in 4-wk-old NOD mice using i.m. injection of the IL-18 expression plasmid DNA (pCAGGS-IL-18) with electroporation. Contrary to previous reports, the incidence of diabetes development was significantly increased in NOD mice injected with pCAGGS-IL-18 compared with that in control mice. Systemic and pancreatic cytokine profiles deviated to a Th1-dominant state, and the the frequency of glutamic acid decarboxylase-reactive IFN-gamma-producing CD4(+) cells was also high in the IL-18 group. Moreover, it was suggested that the promoting effect of IL-18 might be associated with increased peripheral IL-12, CD86, and pancreatic IFN-inducible protein-10 mRNA expression levels. In conclusion, we demonstrate here that IL-18 plays a promoting role as an enhancer of Th1-type immune responses in diabetes development early in the spontaneous disease process, which may contribute to elucidating the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology