Silencing of high-affinity insulin-reactive B lymphocytes by anergy and impact of the NOD genetic background in mice
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Previous studies have demonstrated that high-affinity insulin-binding B cells (IBCs) silenced by anergy in healthy humans lose their anergy in islet autoantibody-positive individuals with recent-onset type 1 diabetes, and in autoantibody-negative first-degree relatives carrying certain risk alleles. Here we explore the hypothesis that IBCs are found in the immune periphery of disease-resistant C57BL/6-H2g7 mice, where, as in healthy humans, they are anergic, but that in disease-prone genetic backgrounds (NOD) they become activated and migrate to the pancreas and pancreatic lymph nodes, where they participate in the development of type 1 diabetes.
We compared the status of high-affinity IBCs in disease-resistant VH125.C57BL/6-H2g7 and disease-prone VH125.NOD mice.
Consistent with findings in healthy humans, high-affinity IBCs reach the periphery in disease-resistant mice and are anergic, as indicated by a reduced expression of membrane IgM, unresponsiveness to antigen and failure to become activated or accumulate in the pancreatic lymph nodes or pancreas. In NOD mice, high-affinity IBCs reach the periphery early in life and increase in number prior to the onset of hyperglycaemia. These cells are not anergic; they become activated, produce autoantibodies and accumulate in the pancreas and pancreatic lymph nodes prior to disease development.
These findings are consistent with genetic determination of the escape of high-affinity IBCs from anergy and their early contribution to the development of type 1 diabetes.
KeywordsAnergy Autoantibodies Autoimmunity B cell Diabetes Insulin NOD
B cell receptor
Insulin-binding B cell
Magnetic-activated cell sorting
Mean fluorescence intensity
Pancreatic lymph node
Phosphatase and tensin homologue
Spleen tyrosine kinase
The authors would like to thank J. W. Thomas (Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA) for providing the VH125.NOD and VH125.C57BL/6 mice.
JCC designed the research and provided funding. MJS, RMH, TAP, AG, SK and JCC provided substantial contributions to conception and design, acquisition of data, and analysis and interpretation, as well as drafting the article and revising it critically; all authors have approved the version to be published. JCC is the guarantor of this work and, as such, had full access to all the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.
This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (DP3DK110845, R21AI124488, R01AI124487, R01DK096492 and F30OD021477).
Duality of interest
The authors declare that there is no duality of interest associated with this manuscript.
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