Enhanced pathogenicity of diabetogenic T cells escaping a non-MHC gene-controlled near death experience.

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Apoptosis, CD8-Positive-T-Lymphocytes, Cell-Death, Cell-Differentiation, Cell-Membrane, Cell-Movement, Clonal-Deletion, Clone-Cells, Comparative-Study, Diabetes-Mellitus-Type-1, Female, Genetic-Predisposition-to-Disease, H-2-Antigens, Homeostasis, Immune-Tolerance, Lymphopenia, Mice, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Inbred-DBA, Mice-Inbred-NOD, Mice-SCID, Mice-Transgenic, Receptors-Antigen-T-Cell, Research-Support-Non-U, S, -Gov't, Research-Support-U, S, -Gov't-P, H, S, Thymus-Gland

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J Immunol 2004 Sep; 173(6):3791-800.


For unknown reasons, the common MHC class I variants encoded by the H2g7 haplotype (Kd, Db) aberrantly elicit autoreactive CD8 T cell responses essential to type 1 diabetes development when expressed in NOD mice, but not other strains. In this study, we show that interactive non-MHC genes allow a NOD-derived diabetogenic CD8 T cell clonotype (AI4) to be negatively selected at far greater efficiency in C57BL/6 mice congenically expressing H2g7 (B6.H2g7). However, the few AI4 T cells escaping negative selection in B6.H2g7 mice are exported from the thymus more efficiently, and are more functionally aggressive than those of NOD origin. This provides mechanistic insight to previous findings that resistant mouse strains carry some genes conferring greater diabetes susceptibility than the corresponding NOD allele. In the B6.H2g7 stock, non-MHC gene-controlled elevations in TCR expression are associated with both enhanced negative selection of diabetogenic CD8 T cells and increased aggressiveness of those escaping this process. An implication of this finding is that the same phenotype, in this case relatively high TCR expression levels, could have double-edged sword effects, contributing to type 1 diabetes resistance at one level of T cell development, but at another actually promoting pathogenesis.