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Diabetes Metab Res Rev. 2000 May-Jun;16(3):150-6.

Proliferative responses to selected peptides of IA-2 in identical twins discordant for Type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Institute of Rheumatology, London, UK.



The aim of the study was to define T lymphocyte reactivity to selected peptides of an islet antigen IA-2, associated with Type 1 diabetes.


We used 10 peptides selected from the IA-2 molecule due to their predicted ability to bind to HLA-DRB1*0401, a Type 1 diabetes-associated allele. We tested 21 identical twin pairs discordant for the disease and 15 control subjects and then followed them prospectively; seven non-diabetic twins developed diabetes.


Twins of identical pairs tended to respond to different peptides suggesting that the T cell response is, to a degree, shaped by non-genetically determined factors (p<0. 0001). However, there was no difference in the T cell responses between diabetic twins and either their non-diabetic identical twins or control subjects and the response was heterogenous. T cell responses did not differ in those seven non-diabetic twins who developed diabetes from those twins who did not. T cell responses to peptide 11 (amino acids 502-514) was immunodominant in diabetic twins as well as their non-diabetic twins and controls; responses were not correlated with HLA, IA-2 antibodies, age or duration of disease.


We conclude that T cell responses to selected IA-2 peptides are not genetically determined, heterogeneous, not strictly HLA controlled and did not distinguish diabetic or prediabetic twins from non-diabetic twins or controls. The identification of an immunodominant T cell response to IA-2 peptide 502-514 raises the possibility that this, or similar, epitopes may be of therapeutic value in disease prevention.

Copyright 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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