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Ferraro, A.* ; Socci, C.* ; Stabilini, A.* ; Valle, A.* ; Monti, P.* ; Piemonti, L.* ; Nano, R.* ; Olek, S.* ; Maffi, P.* ; Scavini, M.* ; Secchi, A.* ; Staudacher, C.* ; Bonifacio, E.* ; Battaglia, M.*

Expansion of Th17 cells and functional defects in T regulatory cells are key features of the pancreatic lymph nodes in patients with type 1 diabetes.

Diabetes 60, 2903-2913 (2011)
DOI Order publishers version
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
OBJECTIVE: Autoimmune diseases, including type 1 diabetes, are thought to have a Th17-cell bias and/or a T-regulatory cell (Treg) defect. Understanding whether this is a hallmark of patients with type 1 diabetes is a crucial question that is still unsolved, largely due to the difficulties of accessing tissues targeted by the disease. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We phenotypically and functionally characterized Th17 cells and Tregs residing in the pancreatic-draining lymph nodes (PLNs) of 19 patients with type 1 diabetes and 63 nondiabetic donors and those circulating in the peripheral blood of 14 type 1 diabetic patients and 11 healthy subjects. RESULTS: We found upregulation of Th17 immunity and functional defects in CD4(+)CD25(bright) Tregs in the PLNs of type 1 diabetic subjects but not in their peripheral blood. In addition, the proinsulin-specific Treg-mediated control was altered in the PLNs of diabetic patients. The dysfunctional Tregs isolated from diabetic subjects did not contain contaminant effector T cells and were all epigenetically imprinted to be suppressive, as defined by analysis of the Treg-specific demethylated region within the forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) locus. CONCLUSIONS: These data provide evidence for an unbalanced immune status in the PLNs of type 1 diabetic subjects, and treatments restoring the immune homeostasis in the target organ of these patients represent a potential therapeutic strategy.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0012-1797
e-ISSN 1939-327X
Journal Diabetes
Quellenangaben Volume: 60, Issue: 11, Pages: 2903-2913 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher American Diabetes Association
Publishing Place Alexandria, VA.
Reviewing status Peer reviewed
Institute(s) Institute for Pancreatic Beta Cell Research (IPI)