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J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1998 Jun;83(6):2204-9.

Increased CD69 and human leukocyte antigen-DR expression on T lymphocytes in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus of long standing.

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Department of Medicine III, University of Vienna, Austria.


To better define prevailing activation of circulating T cell subsets in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) of recent onset (DM; n = 31; median age +/- SD, 28 +/- 6.9 yr) and of long standing (DML; n = 27; age, 33 +/- 10.4 yr; median duration of disease, 105 months), CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were analyzed to determine their naive and memory subsets as well as their expression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR, interleukin-2 receptor alpha-chain (CD25), and CD69 by three-color flow cytometry. Twenty-six healthy subjects (HS; age, 32.0 +/- 8.2 yr) served as controls. No deviation was seen in either IDDM group compared to HS in CD25 expression on CD4+ or CD8+ cells or in their CD45RA+ or CD45RA- subsets. HLA-DR expression, however, was increased (P < 0.05) in total CD8+ cells and CD45RA+ cells, with CD45RA- CD8+ cells joining the prevailing pattern only in DML. Among CD4+ cells, increased expression of HLA-DR molecules was restricted to total and CD45RA- cells in DML. CD69 expression did not differ between IDDM and HS, but differed between DML (CD4+, CD8+, and CD45RA- CD4+) and DM only. In conclusion, our data demonstrate that HLA-DR expression in IDDM is restricted to memory cells (CD45RA-) among CD4+ cells in DML and is more markedly confined to naive (CD45RA+) than to memory CD8+ cells, whereas the early activation antigen CD69 is more readily expressed in DML than in DM. The observed activation of circulating T cells suggests an ongoing immune process in IDDM both at clinical manifestation and after long duration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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