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Open Access Emergence of a Broad Repertoire of GAD65-Specific T-Cells in Type 1 Diabetes Patients With Graft Dysfunction After Allogeneic Islet Transplantation

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Islet transplantation is one of the most promising therapies for type 1 diabetes (T1D). A major issue in islet transplantation is the loss of graft function at late phase. Several studies suggested the involvement of islet-specific T-cells in such islet graft dysfunction. In this study, we investigated the breadth and type of glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65)-specific T-cells in T1D patients after allogeneic islet transplantation. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained from islet-transplanted T1D patients during insulin-independent period and cultured for 7 days with pools of GAD65 overlapping peptides in the presence of IL-2. Cytokine secretion profiles of peptide-reactive T-cells were analyzed after a short-term restimulation with the same peptides by a multiplex bead-based cytokine assay and by an intracytoplasmic cytokine detection assay. Robust GAD65-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were detected in patients who eventually developed chronic graft dysfunction. Multiple GAD65 peptides were found to induce specific T-cell responses in these patients, indicating that the repertoire of GAD65-specific T-cells was broad. Furthermore, GAD65-specific CD4+ T-cells were composed of heterogeneous populations, which differentially expressed cytokines including IFN-γ and type 2 cytokines, but not IL-10. In contrast, patients who showed only marginal GAD65-specific T-cell responses maintained substantially longer graft survival and insulin independence. In conclusion, our study suggests that the emergence of islet-specific T-cells precedes the development of chronic graft dysfunction in islet-transplanted patients. Thus, our observations support the hypothesis that these islet-specific T-cells contribute to the development of chronic islet graft dysfunction.

Keywords: Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65); Graft dysfunction; Islet transplantation; T-cells; Type 1 diabetes (T1D)

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: December 1, 2012

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  • Cell Transplantation publishes original, peer-reviewed research and review articles on the subject of cell transplantation and its application to human diseases. To ensure high-quality contributions from all areas of transplantation, separate section editors and editorial boards have been established. Articles deal with a wide range of topics including physiological, medical, preclinical, tissue engineering, and device-oriented aspects of transplantation of nervous system, endocrine, growth factor-secreting, bone marrow, epithelial, endothelial, and genetically engineered cells, among others. Basic clinical studies and immunological research papers are also featured. To provide complete coverage of this revolutionary field, Cell Transplantation will report on relevant technological advances, and ethical and regulatory considerations of cell transplants. Cell Transplantation is now an Open Access journal starting with volume 18 in 2009, and therefore there will be an inexpensive publication charge, which is dependent on the number of pages, in addition to the charge for color figures. This will allow work to be disseminated to a wider audience and also entitle the corresponding author to a free PDF, as well as prepublication of an unedited version of the manuscript.

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