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CD8 T-cell reactivity to islet antigens is unique to type 1 while CD4 T-cell reactivity exists in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Sarikonda, Ghanashyam
Pettus, Jeremy
Phatak, Sonal
Sachithanantham, Sowbarnika
Miller, Jacqueline F
Wesley, Johnna D
Cadag, Eithon
Chae, Ji
Ganesan, Lakshmi
Mallios, Ronna
Edelman, Steve
Peters, Bjoern
von Herrath, Matthias
Journal of autoimmunity 2014 May;50: 77-82

Previous cross-sectional analyses demonstrated that CD8(+) and CD4(+) T-cell reactivity to islet-specific antigens was more prevalent in T1D subjects than in healthy donors (HD). Here, we examined T1D-associated epitope-specific CD4(+) T-cell cytokine production and autoreactive CD8(+) T-cell frequency on a monthly basis for one year in 10 HD, 33 subjects with T1D, and 15 subjects with T2D. Autoreactive CD4(+) T-cells from both T1D and T2D subjects produced more IFN-γ when stimulated than cells from HD. In contrast, higher frequencies of islet antigen-specific CD8(+) T-cells were detected only in T1D. These observations support the hypothesis that general beta-cell stress drives autoreactive CD4(+) T-cell activity while islet over-expression of MHC class I commonly seen in T1D mediates amplification of CD8(+) T-cells and more rapid beta-cell loss. In conclusion, CD4(+) T-cell autoreactivity appears to be present in both T1D and T2D while autoreactive CD8(+) T-cells are unique to T1D. Thus, autoreactive CD8(+) cells may serve as a more T1D-specific biomarker.

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