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Human β-Cell Killing by Autoreactive Preproinsulin-Specific CD8 T Cells Is Predominantly Granule-Mediated With the Potency Dependent Upon T-Cell Receptor Avidity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Robin R Knight, Deborah Kronenberg, Min Zhao, Guo Cai Huang, Martin Eichmann, Anna Bulek, Linda Wooldridge, David K Cole, Andrew K Sewell, Mark Peakman, Ania Skowera

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-213
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetes
Volume62
Issue number1
Early online date30 Aug 2012
DOIs
E-pub ahead of print30 Aug 2012
Published1 Jan 2013

King's Authors

Abstract

The end-stage immunopathology of type 1 diabetes resulting in β-cell destruction appears to be strongly dominated by cytotoxic CD8 T lymphocytes (CD8 T cells). However, the mechanism of cytotoxicity used by autoreactive CD8 T cells in the human setting remains unknown. Using type 1 diabetes patient-derived preproinsulin-specific CD8 T-cell clones recognizing either an HLA-A2 (A*0201) or HLA-A24 (A*2402)-restricted epitope (peptide of preproinsulin [PPI](15-24), ALWGPDPAAA; or PPI(3-11), LWMRLLPLL), we assessed the use of conventional mediators of cytotoxicity in the destruction of human β-cells in vitro compared with virus-specific cytotoxic CD8 T-cell clones. We show that PPI-specific CD8 T-cell clones are mainly reliant upon cytotoxic degranulation for inducing β-cell death. Furthermore, we find that in comparison with virus-specific CD8 T cells, there are differences in the killing potency of PPI-specific CD8 T cells that are not due to cell-intrinsic differences, but rather are mediated by differences in strength of signaling by peptide-HLA ligands. The study highlights the regulation of β-cell killing as a potential point for therapeutic control, including the possibility of blocking autoreactive CD8 T-cell function without impacting upon general immune competence.

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