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J Immunol. 1998 Oct 15;161(8):3912-8.

B lymphocytes are critical antigen-presenting cells for the initiation of T cell-mediated autoimmune diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice.

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  • 1The Jackson Laboratory, Bar Harbor, ME 04609, USA.


Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice genetically deficient in B lymphocytes (NODJg mu(null)) are resistant to T cell-mediated autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Ig infusions from diabetic NOD donors did not abrogate IDDM resistance in NODJg mu(null) mice. However, T cell responses to the candidate pancreatic beta cell autoantigen glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD), but not the control Ag keyhole limpet hemocyanin, were eliminated in NODJg mu(null) mice. To initially test whether they contribute to IDDM as APC, NOD B lymphocytes were transferred into NODJg mu(null) recipients. B lymphocytes transferred into unmanipulated NODJg mu(null) recipients were rejected by MHC class I-restricted T cells. Stable T and B lymphocyte repopulation was achieved in irradiated NODJg mu(null) mice reconstituted with syngeneic bone marrow admixed with NOD B lymphocytes. IDDM susceptibility was restored in NODJg mu(null) mice reconstituted with syngeneic marrow plus B lymphocytes, but not with syngeneic marrow only. T cell responses to GAD were restored only in NODJg mu(null) mice reconstituted with syngeneic marrow plus B lymphocytes. Hence, B lymphocytes appear to contribute to IDDM in NOD mice as APC with a preferential ability to present certain beta cell Ags such as GAD to autoreactive T cells.

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