Diabetes is a T cell-mediated process in NOD/Lt mice, with a major genetically recessive component of susceptibility linked to homozygous expression of the unique H-2g7 MHC haplotype. Heterozygous expression of the H-2nb1 haplotype derived from the NON/Lt strain confers diabetes resistance both in (NOD x NON)F1 hybrids and in NOD mice congenic for the H-2nb1 haplotype. However, diabetes resistance is abrogated in F1 hybrids by NOD/Lt bone marrow reconstitution. To establish whether the generation of beta cell autoreactive T cells from NOD/Lt bone marrow-derived precursors required at least heterozygous expression of the H-2g7 haplotype on thymic epithelium, adolescent thymectomized (NOD x NON)F1 mice were implanted with neonatal NON/Lt thymus grafts before lethal radiation and reconstitution with NOD/Lt bone marrow. Peripheral T cells maturing through this ectopic thymic implant exclusively expressed the NOD H-2g7 haplotype and were tolerant to H-2nb1 skin grafts. Nevertheless, diabetes developed in 32% of the NON/Lt thymus-grafted chimeras vs 38% of the sham-thymectomized NOD bone marrow chimeras. Thus, homozygous expression of the diabetes-resistant H-2nb1 haplotype on thymic epithelium failed to block development of a diabetogenic T cell repertoire. To examine if expression of H-2nb1 on hemopoietically derived APC could alter the diabetogenic potential of NOD/Lt marrow, diabetes-resistant NOD.NON-H-2nb1 congenic mice were mated with NOD/Lt mice to produce NOD-H-2g7/H-2nb1 heterozygous recipients. These were lethally irradiated and reconstituted with either NOD/Lt marrow alone, NOD.H-2nb1 homozygous congenic marrow alone, or a 1:1 mixture of the two marrow populations. By 25 wk of age, all of the MHC heterozygous recipients of NOD.NON-H-2nb1 marrow remained diabetes-free whereas 75% of the MHC heterozygous recipients of NOD/Lt marrow developed diabetes. A striking decrease in diabetes was observed when T cell precursors derived from NOD/Lt marrow interacted with H-2nb1 gene products on hemopoietically derived APC, inasmuch as only 7% of the MHC heterozygous recipients reconstituted with a 1:1 mixture of NOD/Lt and NOD.NON-H-2nb1 marrow developed diabetes. Peripheral leukocytes in all reconstitution classes expressed the MHC phenotype(s) of the marrow donor(s). Skin grafting confirmed that all reconstitution classes of MHC heterozygous recipients were tolerant to the H-2nb1 haplotype.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.