Transient depletion of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells results in multiple autoimmune diseases in wild-type and B-cell-deficient NOD mice

Jason S. Ellis, Xiaoxiao Wan, Helen Braley-Mullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations

Abstract

Approximately 80% of female wild-type non-obese diabetic (WT NOD) mice spontaneously develop diabetes, whereas B-cell-deficient (B-/-) NOD mice are resistant to diabetes. B-/- mice are also resistant to other spontaneous and experimentally induced autoimmune diseases, including arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjögren syndrome and thyroiditis. Under normal conditions, activation of self-reactive T cells in the periphery is limited by CD4+ CD25+ natural regulatory T (Treg) cells. B-/- NOD.H-2h4 mice, normally resistant to spontaneous autoimmune thyroiditis (SAT), develop SAT when Treg cells are depleted, suggesting that Treg cells are preferentially activated when autoantigen is initially presented by non-B-cell antigen-presenting cells. To test the hypothesis that increased Treg cell activity in B-/- mice contributes to their resistance to other autoimmune diseases, WT and B-/- NOD mice were given anti-CD25 to transiently deplete CD4+ CD25+ Treg cells. The WT and B-/- NOD mice given anti-CD25 developed diabetes much earlier than WT mice given rat IgG, whereas rat IgG-treated B-/- mice did not develop diabetes. Treg-cell-depleted mice had increased lymphocyte infiltration of the pancreas, salivary glands and thyroid compared with controls given rat IgG. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that resistance of B-cell-deficient NOD mice to several autoimmune diseases is due to the activity of Treg cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)179-186
Number of pages8
JournalImmunology
Volume139
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Diabetes
  • Regulatory T cell
  • Salivary gland
  • Thyroid

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