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Cell Immunol. 2003 Jan;221(1):15-26.

Impaired primary immune response in type-1 diabetes. Functional impairment at the level of APCs and T-cells.

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Biomedizinische ForschungsgmbH, Schwarzspanierstrasse 15/1/19, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


We have recently described an impaired proliferative response of CD4(+) T-cells to primary antigens in patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) [Clin. Immunol. 103 (2002) 249]. In order to further investigate possible mechanisms underlying this impairment, several factors known to be involved in the down-regulation of the immune response both at the level of APCs and CD4(+) T-cells were investigated: Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) from IDDM patients were shown to express elevated amounts of CD86 (B7.2) (p=0.003) and reduced amounts of the adhesion molecule CD54 (ICAM-1) (p=0.03) on their cell surface compared to age-matched healthy controls and patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) as well as decreased SDS-PAGE stability of HLA-DQ and -DR peptide complexes directly isolated from the IDDM patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Expression of CTLA-4 (CD152), known to be involved in the down-regulation of the immune response, was shown to be increased on CD4(+) T-cells from IDDM patients after exposure to the primary antigen KLH (keyhole limpet hemocyanin) presented by MDDC (p=0.0047). Likewise, purified CD4(+) T-cells from IDDM patients produced elevated levels of the cytokine TGF-beta1 after stimulation with immobilized monoclonal antibodies directed against CD3 and CD28 (p=0.014). When monocytes from IDDM patients were stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), an increased tendency to produce the inhibitory cytokine interleukin (IL)-10 (p=0.007) and the acute phase cytokine IL-6 (p=0.044) was observed, whereas the concentrations of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, IL-1beta, and IL-12 were comparable to controls. Taken together, our data suggest that a deviation in the expression of certain molecules known to be involved in the peripheral control of the immune response is present in IDDM patients and is underlying the observed impairment of the primary immune response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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