Table of Contents
ISRN Endocrinology
Volume 2013, Article ID 346987, 5 pages
Research Article

Immunotherapy with Tolerogenic Dendritic Cells Alone or in Combination with Rapamycin Does Not Reverse Diabetes in NOD Mice

1Laboratory of Immunobiology for Research and Diagnosis (LIRAD-BST), Germans Trias i Pujol Research Institute, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08916 Badalona, Spain
2Department of Endocrinology, Germans Trias i Pujol University Hospital, Autonomous University of Barcelona, 08916 Badalona, Spain
3Immunology Unit, Department of Ciencies Basiques Mediques, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lleida & IRBLleida, 25198 Lleida, Spain

Received 6 February 2013; Accepted 22 February 2013

Academic Editors: C. Anderwald and H.-Q. Qu

Copyright © 2013 Irma Pujol-Autonell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Type 1 diabetes is a metabolic disease caused by autoimmunity towards β-cells. Different strategies have been developed to restore β-cell function and to reestablish immune tolerance to prevent and cure the disease. Currently, there is no effective treatment strategy to restore endogenous insulin secretion in patients with type 1 diabetes. This study aims to restore insulin secretion in diabetic mice with experimental antigen-specific immunotherapy alone or in combination with rapamycin, a compound well known for its immunomodulatory effect. Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice develop spontaneous type 1 diabetes after 12 weeks of age. Autologous tolerogenic dendritic cells—consisting in dendritic cells pulsed with islet apoptotic cells—were administered to diabetic NOD mice alone or in combination with rapamycin. The ability of this therapy to revert type 1 diabetes was determined by assessing the insulitis score and by measuring both blood glucose levels and C-peptide concentration. Our findings indicate that tolerogenic dendritic cells alone or in combination with rapamycin do not ameliorate diabetes in NOD mice. These results suggest that alternative strategies may be considered for the cure of type 1 diabetes.