Autoimmune diabetes in both the human and the nonobese diabetic mouse has elaborate genetics; in the latter case, the disease is influenced by at least 15-20 loci. We anticipated that the genetics would be simpler in the BDC2.5 T cell receptor transgenic mouse model of diabetes, wherein many T cells express a particular diabetogenic specificity. Initiation of insulitis in this model was the same on the two genetic backgrounds analyzed, but the kinetics and penetrance of diabetes were strikingly different, permitting us to focus on genetic influences during a defined window of disease progression. The differences correlated with variations in five genomic intervals, certain ones of which have been previously implicated in susceptibility to autoimmune disease. This reductionist approach indeed simplified the analysis of diabetes susceptibility loci.