Saturday, September 16, 2017

Tolerance to insulin is maintained by Foxp3+ Tregs

A new study in Journal of Immunology suggests that tolerance to insulin is maintained by Foxp3+ Tregs rather than by deletion of insulin-reactive T cell clones. 
Here, the authors reconstituted mice with T cells on scid background transduced either with high (4-8) or low (12-4.1) affinity TCR specific for native insulin peptide (insulin epitope B:9–23). In addition, each of TCR construct were fused with either native insulin (INS) or modified insulin carrying super-affinity peptide (R22E). All mice expressing either INS or R22E but not irrelevant HEL were protected from developing diabetes.

The authors showed that while R22E deleted developing insulin-specific T cell clones in the thymus, native INS did not.

In fact, the authors showed that if the T cells also lacked Foxp3 molecule (scid-scurfy), then protection against diabetes was lost in mice exposed to native INS.

This study could be interpreted to show that with the exception of  epitopes which are able to delete (purge) cognate T cell clones in the thymus, tolerance to self in the periphery is maintained by thymic-derived Foxp3+ Tregs.

posted by David Usharauli 


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