Program in Molecular Medicine
Endocrine System Diseases | Immunity | Immunopathology | Nutritional and Metabolic Diseases
Epidemiologic and clinical evidence suggests that virus infection plays an important role in human type 1 diabetes pathogenesis. We used the virus-inducible BioBreeding Diabetes Resistant (BBDR) rat to investigate the ability of sodium salicylate, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), to modulate development of type 1 diabetes. BBDR rats treated with Kilham rat virus (KRV) and polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (pIC, a TLR3 agonist) develop diabetes at nearly 100% incidence by ~2 weeks. We found distinct temporal profiles of the proinflammatory serum cytokines, IL-1beta, IL-6, IFN-gamma, IL-12, and haptoglobin (an acute phase protein) in KRV+pIC treated rats. Significant elevations of IL-1beta and IL-12, coupled with sustained elevations of haptoglobin, were specific to KRV+pIC and not found in rats co-treated with pIC and H1, a non-diabetogenic virus. Salicylate administered concurrently with KRV+pIC inhibited the elevations in IL-1beta, IL-6, IFN-gamma and haptoglobin almost completely, and reduced IL-12 levels significantly. Salicylate prevented diabetes in a dose-dependent manner, and diabetes-free animals had no evidence of insulitis. Our data support an important role for innate immunity in virus-induced type 1 diabetes pathogenesis. The ability of salicylate to prevent diabetes in this robust animal model demonstrates its potential use to prevent or attenuate human autoimmune diabetes.