HLA-A*0201-restricted T cells from humanized NOD mice recognize autoantigens of potential clinical relevance to type 1 diabetes

J Immunol. 2006 Mar 1;176(5):3257-65. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.176.5.3257.


In both humans and NOD mice, particular MHC genes are primary contributors to development of the autoreactive CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses against pancreatic beta cells that cause type 1 diabetes (T1D). Association studies have suggested, but not proved, that the HLA-A*0201 MHC class I variant is an important contributor to T1D in humans. In this study, we show that transgenic expression in NOD mice of HLA-A*0201, in the absence of murine class I MHC molecules, is sufficient to mediate autoreactive CD8+ T cell responses contributing to T1D development. CD8+ T cells from the transgenic mice are cytotoxic to murine and human HLA-A*0201-positive islet cells. Hence, the murine and human islets must present one or more peptides in common. Islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP) is one of several important T1D autoantigens in standard NOD mice. Three IGRP-derived peptides were identified as targets of diabetogenic HLA-A*0201-restricted T cells in our NOD transgenic stock. Collectively, these results indicate the utility of humanized HLA-A*0201-expressing NOD mice in the identification of T cells and autoantigens of potential relevance to human T1D. In particular, the identified antigenic peptides represent promising tools to explore the potential importance of IGRP in the development of human T1D.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / genetics*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / metabolism
  • Female
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase / immunology
  • HLA-A Antigens / biosynthesis*
  • HLA-A Antigens / genetics*
  • HLA-A Antigens / immunology
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mice, SCID
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Proteins / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / enzymology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism


  • Autoantigens
  • HLA-A Antigens
  • HLA-A*02:01 antigen
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Proteins
  • Glucose-6-Phosphatase
  • G6pc2 protein, mouse