Galantamine Attenuates Type 1 Diabetes and Inhibits Anti-Insulin Antibodies in Nonobese Diabetic Mice
Type 1 diabetes in mice is characterized by autoimmune destruction of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells. Disease pathogenesis involves invasion of pancreatic islets by immune cells, including macrophages and T cells, and production of antibodies to self-antigens, including insulin. Activation of the inflammatory reflex, the neural circuit that inhibits inflammation, culminates on cholinergic receptor signals on immune cells to attenuate cytokine release and inhibit B-cell antibody production. Here, we show that galantamine, a centrally acting acetylcholinesterase inhibitor and an activator of the inflammatory reflex, attenuates murine experimental type 1 diabetes. Administration of galantamine to animals immunized with keyhole limpet hemocyanin (KLH) significantly suppressed splenocyte release of immunoglobulin G (IgG) and interleukin (IL)-4 and IL-6 during KLH challenge ex vivo. Administration of galantamine beginning at 1 month of age in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice significantly delayed the onset of hyperglycemia, attenuated immune cell infiltration in pancreatic islets and decreased anti-insulin antibodies in serum. These observations indicate that galantamine attenuates experimental type 1 diabetes in mice and suggest that activation of the inflammatory reflex should be further studied as a potential therapeutic approach.
This work was supported by a grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund and the following grants from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, National Institutes of Health: R01GM057226 (to KJ Tracey) and R01GM089807 (to KJ Tracey and VA Pavlov).
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