Diabetes mellitus occurs spontaneously in dogs. Although canine diabetes shares many features with human type-1 diabetes, there are differences that have cast doubt on the immunologic origin of the canine disease. In this study, we examined whether peripheral immune responses directed against islet antigens were present in dogs with diabetes. Routine diagnostics were used to confirm diabetic status, and serum samples from dogs with (N = 15) and without (N = 15) diabetes were analyzed for the presence of antibodies against islet antigens (insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase, insulinoma-associated protein tyrosine phosphatase, and islet beta-cell zinc cation efflux transporter) using standard radioassays. Interferon-? production from peripheral blood T cells stimulated by porcine insulin and by human insulin was tested using Elispot assays. Anti-insulin antibodies were detectable in a subset of diabetic dogs receiving insulin therapy. Pre-activated T cells and incipient insulin-reactive T cells in response to porcine or human insulin were identified in non-diabetic dogs and in dogs with diabetes. The data show that humoral and cellular anti-insulin immune responses are detectable in dogs with diabetes. This in turn provides support for the potential to ethically use dogs with diabetes to study the therapeutic potential of antigen-specific tolerance.
View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0152397
View details for PubMedID 27031512