Regulatory T cell-associated activity in photopheresis-induced immune tolerance in recent onset type 1 diabetes children

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Extracorporeal photochemotherapy (ECP) has demonstrated immunological effects. The proposed cytotoxic lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) involvement, together with forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta are associated with regulatory T cell activity. The aim of the study was to evaluate the regulatory T cell-associated effect of ECP in recent onset type 1 diabetic (T1D) children. Children (n = 20) with T1D received photopheresis 8-methoxypsoralen + ECP or placebo + shampheresis. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) collected pretreatment (day 1) and post-treatment (day 90) were stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin (PHA) and T1D-associated glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD(65)) peptide a.a. 247-279. CTLA-4, sCTLA-4, FoxP3 and TGF-beta mRNA transcription was quantified. Photopheresis-treated individuals' relative mRNA expression was generally maintained during the course of the study. Placebo individuals increased in spontaneous CTLA-4 mRNA (P < 0.05) but decreased in expression after stimulation with GAD(65)-peptide (P < 0.05) and PHA (P < 0.05). Spontaneous TGF-beta (P < 0.05) increased whereas PHA- (P < 0.01) and GAD(65)-peptide (P < 0.01)-induced TGF-beta expression decreased in the placebo group, whereas it was maintained in the treated group. Without intervention, expression of CTLA-4 and TGF-beta, stimulated with PHA and GAD(65) peptide, decreased with time, with a parallel reduction of GAD(65)-peptide and PHA-stimulated TGF-beta expression. These parameters were counteracted by ECP. In conclusion, our results indicate that ECP maintains regulatory T cell-associated activity in recent-onset T1D.


  • C. -O. Jonson
  • M. Pihl
  • Caroline Bolmeson
  • Corrado Cilio
  • J. Ludvigsson
  • M. Faresjo
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area


  • T1D, T-reg, children, extracorporeal photochemotherapy
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)174-181
JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Publication categoryResearch