Testing the role of P2X7 receptors in the development of type 1 diabetes in nonobese diabetic mice.

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Antigens-CD38, Antigens-CD4, Cells-Cultured, Coculture-Techniques, Diabetes-Mellitus-Type-1, Female, Genetic-Predisposition-to-Disease, Mice-129-Strain, Mice-Inbred-C57BL, Mice-Inbred-NOD, Mice-Knockout, Natural-Killer-T-Cells, Receptors-Purinergic-P2X7, T-Lymphocytes-Regulatory

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J Immunol 2011; 186(7):4278-84.


Although P2rx7 has been proposed as a type 1 diabetes (T1D) susceptibility gene in NOD mice, its potential pathogenic role has not been directly determined. To test this possibility, we generated a new NOD stock deficient in P2X(7) receptors. T1D development was not altered by P2X(7) ablation. Previous studies found CD38 knockout (KO) NOD mice developed accelerated T1D partly because of a loss of CD4(+) invariant NKT (iNKT) cells and Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs). These immunoregulatory T cell populations are highly sensitive to NAD-induced cell death activated by ADP ribosyltransferase-2 (ART2)-mediated ADP ribosylation of P2X(7) receptors. Therefore, we asked whether T1D acceleration was suppressed in a double-KO NOD stock lacking both P2X(7) and CD38 by rescuing CD4(+) iNKT cells and Tregs from NAD-induced cell death. We demonstrated that P2X(7) was required for T1D acceleration induced by CD38 deficiency. The CD38 KO-induced defects in homeostasis of CD4(+) iNKT cells and Tregs were corrected by coablation of P2X(7). T1D acceleration in CD38-deficient NOD mice also requires ART2 expression. If increased ADP ribosylation of P2X(7) in CD38-deficient NOD mice underlies disease acceleration, then a comparable T1D incidence should be induced by coablation of both CD38 and ART2, or CD38 and P2X(7). However, a previously established NOD stock deficient in both CD38 and ART2 expression is T1D resistant. This study demonstrated the presence of a T1D resistance gene closely linked to the ablated Cd38 allele in the previously reported NOD stock also lacking ART2, but not in the newly generated CD38/P2X(7) double-KO line.