Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed pancreatic beta-cell-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) Tregs.
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease with no cure and is currently treated with daily insulin injections. Cytotoxic T cells have been shown to contribute to the progression of the disease, and can be down regulated to control the attack on insulin-producing beta cells. Regulatory T cells (Tregs) have been investigated as a possible therapeutic for T1D due to their ability to down-regulate cytotoxic T cells. However, this approach has been limited by the scarcity of antigen-specific Tregs that have the ability to suppress the autoimmune disease. Therefore, there is a need for antigen-specific Tregs on demand.
Researchers at the University of Toledo have developed pancreatic beta-cell-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) Tregs. Typical CAR T therapy involves modifying T cells from the host to target antigens. In this study, two GAD65 B Cell epitope regions were selected for incorporation onto the T cell receptors and tested in a spontaneous T1D mouse model. 30 day glucose tolerance tests showed significant improvement over controls.