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Curr Diab Rep. 2014;14(9):525. doi: 10.1007/s11892-014-0525-x.

Self-antigen expression in the peripheral immune system: roles in self-tolerance and type 1 diabetes pathogenesis.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Immunology and Rheumatology, Stanford University, 269 Campus Drive, CCSR Room 2240, Stanford, CA, 94305-5166, USA,


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) may result from a breakdown in peripheral tolerance that is partially controlled by the ectopic expression of peripheral tissue antigens (PTAs) in lymph nodes. Various subsets of lymph node stromal cells and certain hematopoietic cells play a role in maintaining T cell tolerance. These specialized cells have been shown to endogenously transcribe, process, and present a range of PTAs to naive T cells and mediate the clonal deletion or inactivation of autoreactive cells. During the progression of T1D, inflammation leads to reduced PTA expression in the pancreatic lymph nodes and the production of novel islet antigens that T cells are not tolerized against. These events allow for the escape and activation of autoreactive T cells and may contribute to the pathogenesis of T1D. In this review, we discuss recent findings in this area and propose possible therapies that may help reestablish self-tolerance during T1D.

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