Glucagon-reactive islet-infiltrating CD8 T cells in NOD mice

Gayatri Mukherjee, Rodolfo J. Chaparro, Jennifer Schloss, Carla Smith, Christopher D. Bando, Teresa P. Dilorenzo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Summary: Type 1 diabetes is characterized by T-cell-mediated destruction of the insulin-producing β cells in pancreatic islets. A number of islet antigens recognized by CD8 T cells that contribute to disease pathogenesis in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice have been identified; however, the antigenic specificities of the majority of the islet-infiltrating cells have yet to be determined. The primary goal of the current study was to identify candidate antigens based on the level and specificity of expression of their genes in mouse islets and in the mouse β cell line MIN6. Peptides derived from the candidates were selected based on their predicted ability to bind H-2Kd and were examined for recognition by islet-infiltrating T cells from NOD mice. Several proteins, including those encoded by Abcc8, Atp2a2, Pcsk2, Peg3 and Scg2, were validated as antigens in this way. Interestingly, islet-infiltrating T cells were also found to recognize peptides derived from proglucagon, whose expression in pancreatic islets is associated with α cells, which are not usually implicated in type 1 diabetes pathogenesis. However, type 1 diabetes patients have been reported to have serum autoantibodies to glucagon, and NOD mouse studies have shown a decrease in α cell mass during disease pathogenesis. Our finding of islet-infiltrating glucagon-specific T cells is consistent with these reports and suggests the possibility of α cell involvement in development and progression of disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-640
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Autoantigens
  • Glucagon
  • NOD mice
  • Type 1 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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