Author(s): Thiessen S, Serra P, Amrani A, Verdaguer J, Santamaria P
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Abstract For poorly understood reasons, the development of autoimmune diabetes in humans and mice is dominantly inhibited by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules with diverse antigen-binding sites. We have previously shown that thymocytes expressing a highly diabetogenic I-A(g7)-restricted T-cell receptor (TCR) (4.1-TCR) undergo negative selection in mice carrying one copy of the antidiabetogenic H-2(b) haplotype in an I-A(b)-dependent but superantigen-independent manner. Here, we show that 4.1-TCR-transgenic thymocytes undergo different forms of tolerance in NOD mice expressing antidiabetogenic I-A(d), I-A(g7PD), or I-Ealpha(k) transgenes. The ability of protective MHC class II molecules to induce thymocyte tolerance in 4.1-TCR-transgenic NOD mice correlates with their ability to prevent diabetes in non-TCR-transgenic mice and is associated with polymorphisms within positions 56-67 of their beta1 domains. The 4.1-thymocyte tolerogenic activity of these MHC class II molecules is mediated by dendritic cells and macrophages but not by B-cells or thymic epithelial cells and is a peptide-dependent process. Antidiabetogenic MHC class II molecules may thus afford diabetes resistance by presenting, on dendritic cells and macrophages, tolerogenic peptides to a subset of highly diabetogenic and MHC-promiscuous CD4(+) T-cells that play a critical role in the initiation of diabetes.
This article was published in Diabetes
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology