Author(s): Ania Skowera, Kristin Ladell, James E McLaren, Garry Dolton, Katherine K Matthews
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Autoreactive CD8 T cells play a central role in the destruction of pancreatic islet β-cells that leads to type 1 diabetes, yet the key features of this immune-mediated process remain poorly defined. In this study, we combined high definition polychromatic flow cytometry with ultrasensitive peptide-human leukocyte antigen class I (pHLAI) tetramer staining to quantify and characterize β-cell-specific CD8 T cell populations in patients with recent onset type 1 diabetes and healthy controls. Remarkably, we found that β-cell-specific CD8 T cell frequencies in peripheral blood were similar between subject groups. In contrast to healthy controls, however, patients with newly diagnosed type 1 diabetes displayed hallmarks of antigen-driven expansion uniquely within the β-cell-specific CD8 T cell compartment. Molecular analysis of selected β-cell-specific CD8 T cell populations further revealed highly skewed oligoclonal T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires comprising exclusively private clonotypes. Collectively, these data identify novel and distinctive features of disease-relevant CD8 T cells that inform the immunopathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.
This article was published in Diabetes
and referenced in Immunotherapy: Open Access