Previous work has indicated that an important component for the initiation of autoimmune insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) in the NOD mouse model entails MHC class I-restricted CD8 T cell responses against pancreatic β cell Ags. However, unless previously activated in vitro, such CD8 T cells have previously been thought to require helper functions provided by MHC class II-restricted CD4 T cells to exert their full diabetogenic effects. In this study, we show that IDDM development is greatly accelerated in a stock of NOD mice expressing TCR transgenes derived from a MHC class I- restricted CD8 T cell clone (designated AI4) previously found to contribute to the earliest preclinical stages of pancreatic β cell destruction. Importantly, these TCR transgenic NOD mice (designated NOD.A14αβ Tg) continued to develop IDDM at a greatly accelerated rate when residual CD4 helper T cells were eliminated by introduction of the scid mutation or a functionally inactivated CD4 allele. In a previously described stock of NOD mice expressing TCR transgenes derived from another MHC class I-restricted β cell autoreactive T cell clone, IDDM development was retarded by elimination of residual CD4 T cells. Hence, there is variability in the helper dependence of CD8 T cells contributing to the development of autoimmune IDDM. The AI4 clonotype represents the first CD8 T cell with a demonstrated ability to progress from a naive to functionally activated state and rapidly mediate autoimmune IDDM development in the complete absence of CD4 T cell helper functions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy