Quantitative and qualitative defects in CD1-restricted natural killer T cells have been reported in several autoimmune-prone strains of mice, including the nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse. These defects are believed to be associated with the emergence of spontaneous autoimmunity. Here we demonstrate that both CD1d-null NOD and CD1d-null NOD/BDC2.5 T cell receptor transgenic mice have an accelerated onset and increased incidence of diabetes when compared with CD1d+/- and CD1d+/+ littermates. The acceleration of disease did not seem to result from changes in the T helper (Th)1/Th2 balance because lymphocytes purified from lymphoid organs and pancreatic islets of wild-type and CD1d-null mice secreted equivalent amounts of IFN-γ and IL-4 after stimulation. In contrast, the pancreata of CD1d-null mice harbored significantly higher numbers of activated memory T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CCR4. Notably, the presence of these T cells was associated with immunohistochemical evidence of increased destructive insulitis. Thus, CD1d-restricted T cells are critically important for regulation of the spontaneous disease process in NOD mice.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jun 5 2001|
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