Unusual resistance of ALR/Lt mouse beta cells to autoimmune destruction: role for beta cell-expressed resistance determinants.

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Alloxan, Animal, Autoimmunity, Bone-Marrow-Transplantation, Cell-Death, Chimera, Clone-Cells, Cyclophosphamide, Diabetes-Mellitus-Experimental, Diabetes-Mellitus-Insulin-Dependent, Female, Genetic-Predisposition-to-Disease, Histocompatibility-Antigens-Class-I, Insulin, Interferon-Type-II, Interleukin-1, Islets-of-Langerhans, Lymphocyte-Transformation, Mice-Inbred-NOD, Mice-Inbred-Strains, T-Lymphocytes-Cytotoxic, Tumor-Necrosis-Factor

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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2001 Jan; 98(1):235-40.


Genetic analysis of autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) has focused on genes controlling immune functions, with little investigation of innate susceptibility determinants expressed at the level of target beta cells. The Alloxan (AL) Resistant (R) Leiter (Lt) mouse strain, closely related to the IDDM-prone nonobese diabetic (NOD)/Lt strain, demonstrates the importance of such determinants. ALR mice are unusual in their high constitutive expression of molecules associated with dissipation of free-radical stress systemically and at the beta-cell level. ALR islets were found to be remarkably resistant to two different combinations of beta-cytotoxic cytokines (IL-1beta, tumor necrosis factor alpha, and IFN-gamma) that destroyed islets from the related NOD and alloxan-susceptible strains. The close MHC relatedness between the NOD and ALR strains (H2-Kd and H2-Ag7 identical) allowed us to examine whether ALR islet cells could survive autoimmune destruction by NOD-derived Kd-restricted diabetogenic cytotoxic T lymphocyte clones (AI4 and the insulin-reactive G9C8 clones). Both clones killed islet cells from all Kd-expressing strains except ALR. ALR resistance to diabetogenic immune systems was determined in vivo by means of adoptive transfer of the G9C8 clone or by chimerizing lethally irradiated ALR or reciprocal (ALR x NOD)F1 recipients with NOD bone marrow. In all in vivo systems, ALR and F1 female recipients of NOD marrow remained IDDM free; in contrast, all of the NOD recipients became diabetic. In conclusion, the ALR mouse presents a unique opportunity to identify dominant IDDM resistance determinants expressed at the beta cell level.

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