HLA-DQ8 Supports Development of Insulitis Mediated by Insulin-Reactive Human TCR-Transgenic T Cells in Nonobese Diabetic Mice

J Immunol. 2023 Oct 25:ji2300303. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.2300303. Online ahead of print.

Abstract

In an effort to improve HLA-"humanized" mouse models for type 1 diabetes (T1D) therapy development, we previously generated directly in the NOD strain CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletions of various combinations of murine MHC genes. These new models improved upon previously available platforms by retaining β2-microglobulin functionality in FcRn and nonclassical MHC class I formation. As proof of concept, we generated H2-Db/H2-Kd double knockout NOD mice expressing human HLA-A*0201 or HLA-B*3906 class I variants that both supported autoreactive diabetogenic CD8+ T cell responses. In this follow-up work, we now describe the creation of 10 new NOD-based mouse models expressing various combinations of HLA genes with and without chimeric transgenic human TCRs reactive to proinsulin/insulin. The new TCR-transgenic models develop differing levels of insulitis mediated by HLA-DQ8-restricted insulin-reactive T cells. Additionally, these transgenic T cells can transfer insulitis to newly developed NSG mice lacking classical murine MHC molecules, but expressing HLA-DQ8. These new models can be used to test potential therapeutics for a possible capacity to reduce islet infiltration or change the phenotype of T cells expressing type 1 diabetes patient-derived β cell autoantigen-specific TCRs.