Insulin-specific T cells are a predominant component of islet infiltrates in pre-diabetic NOD mice

Eur J Immunol. 1994 Aug;24(8):1853-7. doi: 10.1002/eji.1830240820.


Numerous investigation have demonstrated that T cells are involved in destruction of beta cells in the NOD mouse, a widely studied model of type I diabetes. In this report we describe a series of islet-specific T cell lines established from islet-infiltrating lymphocytes obtained from individual pre-diabetic NOD mice as well as a large panel of clones derived from these lines. Proliferation assays indicated that these nominally islet-specific lines responded vigorously to porcine insulin. Furthermore, of 40 islet-specific clones derived from lines established from 12-week-old mice, 22 (55%) responded to insulin. A similar analysis of islet-specific clones established from 7-week-old mice indicated that 2 of 14 (14%) were insulin specific. These findings demonstrate that insulin-specific T cells can comprise a major portion of the spontaneously arising T cell response to islets in NOD mice.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Clone Cells
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / immunology*
  • Female
  • Insulin / immunology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / immunology*
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Phenotype
  • Prediabetic State / immunology*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology*


  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta