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Natural Protection From Type 1 Diabetes in Non Obese Diabetic (Nod) Mice is Characterized by a Unique Pancreatic Islet Phenotype

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posted on 02.02.2021, 19:19 by Joanne Boldison, Terri C. Thayer, Joanne Davies, F. Susan Wong
The non-obese diabetic (NOD) mouse develops spontaneous type 1 diabetes, with some features of disease that are very similar to the human disease. However, a proportion of NOD mice are naturally-protected from developing diabetes, and currently studies characterising this cohort are very limited. Here, using both immunofluorescence and multi-parameter flow cytometry we focus on the pancreatic islet morphology and immune infiltrate observed in naturally-protected NOD mice. We show that naturally-protected NOD mice are characterised by an increased frequency of insulin-containing, smaller sized, pancreatic islets. Although mice remain diabetes free, florid immune infiltrate remains. However, this immune infiltrate is skewed towards a regulatory phenotype in both T and B-cell compartments. Pancreatic islets have an increased frequency of IL-10 producing B cells and associated cell surface markers. Resident memory CD69+CD8+ T cells show a significant shift towards reduced CD103 expression, while CD4+ T cells have increased FoxP3+CTLA4+ expression. These data indicate that naturally-protected NOD mice have a unique islet signature and provide new insight into regulatory mechanisms within pancreatic islets.

Funding

This work was funded by the Medical Research Council (UK) MR/K021141/1

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