Title

Identification of the beta cell antigen targeted by a prevalent population of pathogenic CD8+ T cells in autoimmune diabetes.

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2003

JAX Source

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2003 Jul; 100(14):8384-8.

Abstract

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which autoreactive T cells attack and destroy the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. CD8+ T cells are essential for this beta cell destruction, yet their specific antigenic targets are largely unknown. Here, we reveal that the autoantigen targeted by a prevalent population of pathogenic CD8+ T cells in nonobese diabetic mice is islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP). Through tetramer technology, IGRP-reactive T cells are readily detected in islets and peripheral blood directly ex vivo. The human IGRP gene maps to a diabetes susceptibility locus, suggesting that IGRP also may be an antigen for pathogenic T cells in human type 1 diabetes and, thus, a new, potential target for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.