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Slow progressors to type 1 diabetes lose islet autoantibodies over time, have few islet antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and exhibit a distinct CD95hi B cell phenotype

Hanna, Stephanie J., Powell, Wendy E., Long, Anna E., Robinson, Emma J. S., Davies, Joanne, Megson, Clare, Howell, Alexandra, Jones, Taz J., Ladell, Kristin, Price, David A., Dayan, Colin M., Williams, Alistair J. K., Gillespie, Kathleen M. and Wong, F. Susan 2020. Slow progressors to type 1 diabetes lose islet autoantibodies over time, have few islet antigen-specific CD8+ T cells and exhibit a distinct CD95hi B cell phenotype. Diabetologia 63 , pp. 1174-1185. 10.1007/s00125-020-05114-7

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Abstract

ims/hypothesis The aim of this study was to characterise islet autoantibody profiles and immune cell phenotypes in slow progressors to type 1 diabetes. Methods Immunological variables were compared across peripheral blood samples obtained from slow progressors to type 1 diabetes, individuals with newly diagnosed or long-standing type 1 diabetes, and healthy individuals. Polychromatic flow cytometry was used to characterise the phenotypic attributes of B and T cells. Islet autoantigen-specific B cells were quantified using an enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISpot) assay and islet autoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells were quantified using peptide–HLA class I tetramers. Radioimmunoassays were used to detect islet autoantibodies. Sera were assayed for various chemokines, cytokines and soluble receptors via ELISAs. Results Islet autoantibodies were lost over time in slow progressors. Various B cell subsets expressed higher levels of CD95 in slow progressors, especially after polyclonal stimulation, compared with the corresponding B cell subsets in healthy donors (p < 0.05). The phenotypic characteristics of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells were similar in slow progressors and healthy donors. Lower frequencies of CD4+ T cells with a central memory phenotype (CD27int, CD127+, CD95int) were observed in slow progressors compared with healthy donors (mean percentage of total CD4+ T cells was 3.00% in slow progressors vs 4.67% in healthy donors, p < 0.05). Autoreactive B cell responses to proinsulin were detected at higher frequencies in slow progressors compared with healthy donors (median no. of spots was 0 in healthy donors vs 24.34 in slow progressors, p < 0.05) in an ELISpot assay. Islet autoantigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses were largely absent in slow progressors and healthy donors. Serum levels of DcR3, the decoy receptor for CD95L, were elevated in slow progressors compared with healthy donors (median was 1087 pg/ml in slow progressors vs 651 pg/ml in healthy donors, p = 0.06). Conclusions/interpretation In this study, we found that slow progression to type 1 diabetes was associated with a loss of islet autoantibodies and a distinct B cell phenotype, consistent with enhanced apoptotic regulation of peripheral autoreactivity via CD95. These phenotypic changes warrant further studies in larger cohorts to determine their functional implications.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 0012-186X
Funders: Wellcome Trust
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 1 April 2020
Date of Acceptance: 13 January 2020
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 14:32
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/130685

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