Soluble RAGE Prevents Type 1 Diabetes Expanding Functional Regulatory T Cells

Diabetes. 2022 Sep 1;71(9):1994-2008. doi: 10.2337/db22-0177.


Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease with no cure, where clinical translation of promising therapeutics has been hampered by the reproducibility crisis. Here, short-term administration of an antagonist to the receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) protected against murine diabetes at two independent research centers. Treatment with sRAGE increased regulatory T cells (Tregs) within the islets, pancreatic lymph nodes, and spleen, increasing islet insulin expression and function. Diabetes protection was abrogated by Treg depletion and shown to be dependent on antagonizing RAGE with use of knockout mice. Human Tregs treated with a RAGE ligand downregulated genes for suppression, migration, and Treg homeostasis (FOXP3, IL7R, TIGIT, JAK1, STAT3, STAT5b, CCR4). Loss of suppressive function was reversed by sRAGE, where Tregs increased proliferation and suppressed conventional T-cell division, confirming that sRAGE expands functional human Tregs. These results highlight sRAGE as an attractive treatment to prevent diabetes, showing efficacy and reproducibility at multiple research centers and in human T cells.

Trial registration: NCT01030861 NCT01773707.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / therapeutic use
  • Mice
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products / genetics
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products / metabolism
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory


  • Insulin
  • Receptor for Advanced Glycation End Products

Associated data

  • figshare/10.2337/figshare.20051633