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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increased entry into the IFN-gamma effector pathway by CD4+ T cells selected by I-Ag7 on a nonobese diabetic versus C57BL/6 genetic background.

IFN-gamma- mediated Th1 effects play a major role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice. We analyzed functional responses of CD4(+) T cells from NOD and B6.G7 MHC congenic mice, which share the H2(g7) MHC region but differ in their non-MHC genetic background. T cells from each strain proliferated equally to panstimulation with T cell lectins as well as to stimulation with glutamic acid decarboxylase 524-543 (self) and hen egg lysozyme 11-23 (foreign) I-A(g7)-binding peptide epitopes. Despite comparable proliferative responses, NOD CD4(+) T cells had significantly increased IFN-gamma intracellular/extracellular protein and mRNA responses compared with B6.G7 T cells as measured by intracellular cytokine analysis, time resolved fluorometry, and RNase protection assays. The increased IFN-gamma production was not due to an increase in the amount of IFN-gamma produced per cell but to an increase in the number of NOD CD4(+) T cells entering the IFN-gamma-producing pathway. The increased IFN-gamma response in NOD mice was not due to increased numbers of activated precursors as measured by activation/memory markers. B6.G7 lymphoid cells demonstrated an absolute decrease in IFN-gamma mRNA, an increase in IL-4 mRNA production, and a significantly decreased IFN-gamma:IL-4 mRNA transcript ratio compared with NOD cells. CD4(+) T cells from C57BL6 mice also showed significantly decreased IFN-gamma production compared with CD4(+) T cells from NOD.H2(b) MHC-congenic mice (which have an H2(b) MHC region introgressed onto an NOD non-MHC background). Therefore, the NOD non-MHC background predisposes to a quantitatively increased IFN-gamma response, independent of MHC class II-mediated T cell repertoire selection, even when compared with a prototypical Th1 strain.[1]


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