Antigen-based therapies (ABTs) very effectively prevent the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D) when given to young nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice, however, they have little or no ability to reverse hyperglycemia in newly diabetic NOD mice. More importantly, ABTs have not yet demonstrated an ability to effectively preserve residual ß-cells in individuals newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Accordingly, there is great interest in identifying new treatments that can be combined with ABTs to safely protect ß-cells in diabetic animals. The activation of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors (GABA-Rs) on immune cells has been shown to prevent T1D, experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) and rheumatoid arthritis in mouse models. Based on GABA's ability to inhibit different autoimmune diseases and its safety profile, we tested whether the combination of ABT with GABA treatment could prolong the survival of transplanted ß-cells in newly diabetic NOD mice. Newly diabetic NOD mice were untreated, or given GAD/alum (20 or 100 µg) and placed on plain drinking water, or water containing GABA (2 or 6 mg/ml). Twenty-eight days later, they received syngenic pancreas grafts and were monitored for the recurrence of hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia reoccurred in the recipients given plain water, GAD monotherapy, GABA monotherapy, GAD (20 µg)+GABA (2 mg/ml), GAD (20 µg)+GABA (6 mg/ml) and GAD (100 µg)+GABA (6 mg/ml) about 1, 2-3, 3, 2-3, 3-8 and 10-11 weeks post-transplantation, respectively. Thus, combined GABA and ABT treatment had a synergistic effect in a dose-dependent fashion. These findings suggest that co-treatment with GABA (or other GABA-R agonists) may provide a new strategy to safely enhance the efficacy of other therapeutics designed to prevent or reverse T1D, as well as other T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.