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J Autoimmun. 1994 Dec;7(6):833-43.

Analysis of the spontaneous T cell response to insulin in NOD mice.

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Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver 80262.


Insulin-specific T cells have been found to be present in high frequency among nominally islet-cell-specific T cells in the islet infiltrates that accumulate in NOD mice. In a previous report in which clones obtained from 7- and 12-week-old mice were examined, we identified a 15-residue peptide of the B chain as the dominent epitope for this response. Despite the fact that the response to insulin appears to be directed toward this single peptide, diverse TCR V beta usage was observed. That insulin-specific T cells contribute to beta cell damage is suggested by the fact that all clones tested could mediate beta cell destruction upon adoptive transfer. In the present report we extend this examination of insulin-specific T cells to lines and clones established from mice ranging in age from 4-12 weeks. These clones were found to be very similar to those from 7- and 12-week-old mice. The response was directed to the same peptide and most were found to produce IFN gamma, but none produced IL-4.

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