• CD4 T cells (T helper;
  • Th0;
  • Th1;
  • Th2;
  • Th3;
  • Th17);
  • diabetes;
  • immune regulation;
  • regulatory T cells (Treg);
  • therapy/immunotherapy


Glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD)65 formulated with aluminium hydroxide (GAD-alum) was effective in preserving insulin secretion in a Phase II clinical trial in children and adolescents with recent-onset type 1 diabetes. In addition, GAD-alum treated patients increased CD4+CD25hi forkhead box protein 3+ (FoxP3+) cell numbers in response to in-vitro GAD65 stimulation. We have carried out a 4-year follow-up study of 59 of the original 70 patients to investigate long-term effects on the frequency and function of regulatory T cells after GAD-alum treatment. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were stimulated in vitro with GAD65 for 7 days and expression of regulatory T cell markers was measured by flow cytometry. Regulatory T cells (CD4+CD25hiCD127lo) and effector T cells (CD4+CD25CD127+) were further sorted, expanded and used in suppression assays to assess regulatory T cell function after GAD-alum treatment. GAD-alum-treated patients displayed higher frequencies of in-vitro GAD65-induced CD4+CD25+CD127+ as well as CD4+CD25hiCD127lo and CD4+FoxP3+ cells compared to placebo. Moreover, GAD65 stimulation induced a population of CD4hi cells consisting mainly of CD25+CD127+, which was specific of GAD-alum-treated patients (16 of 25 versus one of 25 in placebo). Assessment of suppressive function in expanded regulatory T cells revealed no difference between GAD-alum- and placebo-treated individuals. Regulatory T cell frequency did not correlate with C-peptide secretion throughout the study. In conclusion, GAD-alum treatment induced both GAD65-reactive CD25+CD127+ and CD25hiCD127lo cells, but no difference in regulatory T cell function 4 years after GAD-alum treatment.