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J Immunol. 2006 Feb 1;176(3):1637-44.

Early autoimmune destruction of islet grafts is associated with a restricted repertoire of IGRP-specific CD8+ T cells in diabetic nonobese diabetic mice.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599, USA.

Abstract

beta cell replacement via islet or pancreas transplantation is currently the only approach to cure type 1 diabetic patients. Recurrent beta cell autoimmunity is a critical factor contributing to graft rejection along with alloreactivity. However, the specificity and dynamics of recurrent beta cell autoimmunity remain largely undefined. Accordingly, we compared the repertoire of CD8+ T cells infiltrating grafted and endogenous islets in diabetic nonobese diabetic mice. In endogenous islets, CD8+ T cells specific for an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein derived peptide (IGRP206-214) were the most prevalent T cells. Similar CD8+ T cells dominated the early graft infiltrate but were expanded 6-fold relative to endogenous islets. Single-cell analysis of the TCR alpha and beta chains showed restricted variable gene usage by IGRP206-214-specific CD8+ T cells that was shared between the graft and endogenous islets of individual mice. However, as islet graft infiltration progressed, the number of IGRP206-214-specific CD8+ T cells decreased despite stable numbers of CD8+ T cells. These results demonstrate that recurrent beta cell autoimmunity is characterized by recruitment to the grafts and expansion of already prevalent autoimmune T cell clonotypes residing in the endogenous islets. Furthermore, depletion of IGRP206-214-specific CD8+ T cells by peptide administration delayed islet graft survival, suggesting IGRP206-214-specific CD8+ T cells play a role early in islet graft rejection but are displaced with time by other specificities, perhaps by epitope spread.

PMID:
16424193
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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