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J Clin Immunol. 1993 Jan;13(1):1-7.

Mechanisms of autoimmunity in type I diabetes.

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Immunobiology Laboratory, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown 02129.


The work presented in this review suggests that in human and murine type I diabetes, defective MHC class I expression on APC is linked to autoimmunity. The defect in self-antigen presentation is present on prediabetic and diabetic APC, and this presumably delivers abnormal or lack of signals to T cells to allow self tolerance. Since most autoimmune diseases have strong genetic linkage to MHC class II region, our recent results additionally demonstrating low MHC class I expression on lymphoid cells in a diversity of autoimmune diseases (hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, etc.) suggest that this pathway of abnormal class I presentation of self epitopes may be important for tolerance to many tissue-specific antigens (40). Certainly, the unanswered genetic questions will address the role of the specific genes controlling self-antigen presentation through MHC class I followed by T-cell education to self.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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