Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease in which autoreactive T cells attack and destroy the insulin-producing pancreatic β cells. CD8+ T cells are essential for this β cell destruction, yet their specific antigenic targets are largely unknown. Here, we reveal that the autoantigen targeted by a prevalent population of pathogenic CD8+ T cells in nonobese diabetic mice is islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP). Through tetramer technology, IGRP-reactive T cells are readily detected in islets and peripheral blood directly ex vivo. The human IGRP gene maps to a diabetes susceptibility locus, suggesting that IGRP also may be an antigen for pathogenic T cells in human type 1 diabetes and, thus, a new, potential target for diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Jul 8 2003|
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