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Annu Rev Immunol. 2014;32:579-608. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-032712-095941. Epub 2014 Feb 5.

Antigen presentation in the autoimmune diabetes of the NOD mouse.

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1
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110; email: unanue@wustl.edu.

Abstract

This paper reviews the presentation of peptides by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules in the autoimmune diabetes of the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse. Islets of Langerhans contain antigen-presenting cells that capture the proteins and peptides of the beta cells' secretory granules. Peptides bound to I-A(g7), the unique MHC class II molecule of NOD mice, are presented in islets and in pancreatic lymph nodes. The various beta cell-derived peptides interact with selected CD4 T cells to cause inflammation and beta cell demise. Many autoreactive T cells are found in NOD mice, but not all have a major role in the initiation of the autoimmune process. I emphasize here the evidence pointing to insulin autoreactivity as a seminal component in the diabetogenic process.

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