Prevention of type 1 diabetes in NOD mice by genetic engineering of hematopoietic stem cells

Methods Mol Biol. 2008;433:277-85. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-237-3_17.


Type 1 diabetes is caused by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes could potentially be treated by islet transplantation; however, the recurrence of autoimmunity leads to the destruction of islet grafts in a relatively short time frame. Therefore, a major goal of diabetes research is the induction of tolerance in diabetic patients to prevent recurrence of diabetes. Diabetes is a polygenic disease, and not all the determinants responsible for disease susceptibility have been identified. However, in both humans and mouse models of this disease, one of the principle determining genetic factors in diabetes incidence is the inheritance of mutant MHC class II alleles that are associated with increased occurrence of disease. We have shown that in the NOD mouse model, the introduction of protective MHC class II alleles through retroviral gene therapy can prevent the onset of autoimmune diabetes. Prevention of diabetes appears to be mediated, at least in part, by the deletion of autoreactive T cells in the presence of protective MHC class II. Here, we outline the procedures involved in the modification of murine hematopoietic cells through retroviral transduction, the reconstitution of recipients with modified bone marrow, and the monitoring of gene therapy recipients after reconstitution.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / metabolism
  • Calcium Phosphates / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / prevention & control*
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genetic Engineering / methods*
  • Hematopoietic Stem Cells / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • NIH 3T3 Cells
  • Retroviridae / genetics
  • Transfection


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • calcium phosphate