Infoscience

Journal article

Suppressive Effect of Glutamic Acid Decarboxylase 65-Specific Autoimmune B Lymphocytes on Processing of T Cell Determinants Located Within the Antibody Epitope

Type 1 diabetes is a T cell-mediated disease in which B cells serve critical Ag-presenting functions. In >95% of type 1 diabetic patients the B cell response to the glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) autoantigen is exclusively directed at conformational epitopes residing on the surface of the native molecule. We have examined how the epitope specificity of Ag-presenting autoimmune B cell lines, derived from a type 1 diabetic patient, affects the repertoire of peptides presented to DRB1*0401-restricted T cell hybridomas. The general effect of GAD65-specific B cells was to enhance Ag capture and therefore Ag presentation. The enhancing effect was, however, restricted to T cell determinants located outside the B cell epitope region, because processing/presentation of T cell epitopes located within the autoimmune B cell epitope were suppressed in a dominant fashion. A similar effect was observed when soluble Abs formed immune complexes with GAD65 before uptake and processing by splenocytes. Thus, GAD65-specific B cells and the Abs they secrete appear to modulate the autoimmune T cell repertoire by down-regulating T cell epitopes in an immunodominant area while boosting epitopes in distant or cryptic regions.

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