Author(s): Kis J, Engelmann P, Farkas K, Richman G, Eck S,
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Abstract Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells are considered to be important in some autoimmune diseases including Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). So far, the published data are contradictory in regard to the role of iNKT cells in T1DM. We aimed to study iNKT cell frequency and the function of different iNKT cell subgroups in T1DM. We compared the results of four subject groups: healthy (H), long-term T2DM (ltT2DM; more than 1 year), newly diagnosed T1DM (ndT1DM; less than 3 months), and ltT1DM (more than 1 year) individuals. We measured the iNKT cell frequencies by costaining for the invariant TCR alpha-chain with 6B11-FITC and Valpha24-PE. After sorting the Valpha24+6B11+ cells, the generated iNKT clones were characterized. We tested CD4, CD8, and CD161 expression and IL-4 and IFN-gamma production on TCR stimulation. The CD4+ population among the iNKT cells was decreased significantly in ltT1DM versus ndT1DM, ltT2DM, or H individuals. The T1DM iNKT cell cytokine profile markedly shifted to the Th1 direction. There was no difference in the frequency of iNKT cells in PBMC among the different patient groups. The decrease in the CD4+ population among the iNKT cells and their Th1 shift indicates dysfunction of these potentially important regulatory cells in T1DM.
This article was published in J Leukoc Biol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology