Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune disorder characterized by destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Many broad-based immunosuppressive and antigen-specific immunoregulatory therapies have been and are currently being evaluated for their utility in the prevention and treatment of T1D. Looking forward, this review discusses the potential therapeutic use of antigen-specific tolerance strategies, including tolerance induced by "tolerogenic" antigen-presenting cells pulsed with diabetogenic antigens and transfer of induced or expanded regulatory T cells, which have demonstrated efficacy in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. Depending on the time of therapeutic intervention in the T1D disease process, antigen-specific immunoregulatory strategies may be employed as monotherapies, or in combination with short-term tolerance-promoting immunoregulatory drugs and/or drugs promoting differentiation of insulin-producing beta cells from endogenous progenitors.
Copyright 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.