Presence of diabetes autoantigens in extracellular vesicles derived from human islets

Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 10;7(1):5000. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-04977-y.


Beta-cell (β-cell) injury is the hallmark of autoimmune diabetes. However, the mechanisms by which autoreactive responses are generated in susceptible individuals are not well understood. Extracellular vesicles (EV) are produced by mammalian cells under normal and stressed physiological states. They are an important part of cellular communication, and may serve a role in antigen processing and presentation. We hypothesized that isolated human islets in culture produce EV that contain diabetes autoantigens (DAA) from these otherwise normal, non-diabetic donors. Here we report the caspase-independent production of EV by human islets in culture, and the characterization of DAA glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) and zinc transporter 8 (ZnT8), as well as the β-cell resident glucose transporter 2 (Glut2), present within the EV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation
  • Autoantigens / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Extracellular Vesicles / immunology*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2 / metabolism
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology
  • Proteomics / methods
  • Zinc Transporter 8 / metabolism


  • Autoantigens
  • Glucose Transporter Type 2
  • SLC2A2 protein, human
  • SLC30A8 protein, human
  • Zinc Transporter 8
  • Glutamate Decarboxylase
  • glutamate decarboxylase 2